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?  WM  I  IN 



TOnrttm  Britta?, 


Medical  Library 

8  The  Fenway 

LOCI)£b     CABj-H£T 

Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2010  with  funding  from 

Open  Knowledge  Commons  and  Harvard  Medical  School 



Prof.  Dr.  SIGMUND  FREUD,  LL.D. 



A.  A.  BRILL,  Ph.B.,  M.D. 





"  Flectere  si  nequeo  superos,  Acheronta  movcbo  " 




In  attempting  a  discussion  of  the  Interpretation  of  Dreams,  I 
do  not  believe  that  I  have  overstepped  the  bounds  of  neuro- 
pathological  interest.  For,  on  psychological  investigation, 
the  dream  proves  to  be  the  first  link  in  a  chain  of  abnormal 
psychic  structures  whose  other  links,  the  hysterical  phobia, 
the  obsession,  and  the  delusion  must,  for  practical  reasons, 
claim  the  interest  of  the  physician.  The  dream  (as  will 
appear)  can  lay  no  claim  to  a  corresponding  practical  signi- 
ficance ;  its  theoretical  value  as  a  paradigm  is,  however,  all 
the  greater,  and  one  who  cannot  explain  the  origin  of  the 
dream  pictures  will  strive  in  vain  to  understand  the  phobias, 
obsessive  and  delusional  ideas,  and  likewise  their  therapeutic 

But  this  relation,  to  which  our  subject  owes  its  importance, 
is  responsible  also  for  the  deficiencies  in  the  work  before  us. 
The  surfaces  of  fracture  which  will  be  found  so  frequently  in 
this  discussion  correspond  to  so  many  points  of  contact  at 
which  the  problem  of  the  dream  formation  touches  more 
comprehensive  problems  of  psychopathology,  which  cannot  be 
discussed  here,  and  which  will  be  subjected  to  future  elabora- 
tion if  there  should  be  sufficient  time  and  energy,  and  if  further 
material  should  be  forthcoming. 

Peculiarities  in  the  material  I  have  used  to  elucidate  the 
interpretation  of  dreams  have  rendered  this  publication  diffi- 
cult. From  the  work  itself  it  will  appear  why  all  dreams 
related  in  the  literature  or  collected  by  others  had  to  remain 
useless  for  my  purpose  ;  for  examples  I  had  to  choose  between 
my  own  dreams  and  those  of  my  patients  who  were  under 
psychoanalytic  treatment.  I  was  restrained  from  utilising 
the  latter  material  by  the  fact  that  in  it  the  dream  processes 
were  subjected  to  an  undesirable  complication  on  account 
of   the  intermixture  of   neurotic   characters.     On   the   other 


hand,  inseparably  connected  with  my  own  dreams  was  the  cir- 
cumstance that  I  was  obliged  to  expose  more  of  the  intimacies 
of  my  psychic  life  than  I  should  like  and  than  generally  falls 
to  the  task  of  an  author  who  is  not  a  poet  but  an  investigator 
of  nature.  This  was  painful,  but  unavoidable ;  I  had  to  put 
up  with  the  inevitable  in  order  not  to  be  obliged  to  forego 
altogether  the  demonstration  of  the  truth  of  my  psycho- 
logical results.  To  be  sure,  I  could  not  at  best  resist  the  temp- 
tation of  disguising  some  of  my  indiscretions  through  omissions 
and  substitutions,  and  as  often  as  this  happened  it  detracted 
materially  from  the  value  of  the  examples  which  I  employed. 
I  can  only  express  the  hope  that  the  reader  of  this  work, 
putting  himself  in  my  difficult  position,  will  show  forbearance, 
and  also  that  all  persons  who  are  inclined  to  take  offence  at 
any  of  the  dreams  reported  will  concede  freedom  of  thought 
at  least  to  the  dream  life. 


If  there  has  arisen  a  demand  for  a  second  edition  of  this  rather 
difficult  book  before  the  end  of  the  first  decade,  I  owe  no 
gratitude  to  the  interest  of  the  professional  circles  to  whom 
I  appealed  in  the  preceding  sentences.  My  colleagues  in 
psychiatry,  apparently,  have  made  no  effort  to  shake  off  the 
first  surprise  which  my  new  conception  of  the  dream  evoked, 
and  the  professional  philosophers,  who  are  accustomed  to  treat 
the  problem  of  dream  life  as  a  part  of  the  states  of  con- 
sciousness, devoting  to  it  a  few — for  the  most  part  identical 
— sentences,  have  apparently  failed  to  observe  that  in  this 
field  could  be  found  all  kinds  of  things  which  would  inevit- 
ably lead  to  a  thorough  transformation  of  our  psychological 
theories.  The  behaviour  of  the  scientific  critics  could  only 
justify  the  expectation  that  this  work  of  mine  was  destined 
to  be  buried  in  oblivion  ;  and  the  small  troop  of  brave  pupils 
who  follow  my  leadership  in  the  medical  application  of  psycho- 
analysis, and  also  follow  my  example  in  analysing  dreams  in 
order  to  utilise  these  analyses  in  the  treatment  of  neurotics, 
would  not  have  exhausted  the  first  edition  of  the  book.  I 
therefore  feel  indebted  to  that  wider  circle  of  intelligent 
seekers  after  truth  whose  co-operation  has  procured  for  me 
the  invitation  to  take  up  anew,  after  nine  years,  the  difficult 
and  in  so  many  respects  fundamental  work. 

I  am  glad  to  be  able  to  say  that  I  have  found  little  to 
change.  Here  and  there  I  have  inserted  new  material,  added 
new  views  from  my  wider  experience,  and  attempted  to  revise 
certain  points  ;  but  everything  essential  concerning  the  dream 
and  its  interpretation,  as  well  as  the  psychological  proposi- 
tions derived  from  it,  has  remained  unchanged  :  at  least, 
subjectively,  it  has  stood  the  test  of  time.  Those  who  are 
acquainted  with  my  other  works  on  the  Etiology  and  Mechan- 
ism of  the  psychoneuroses,  know  that  I  have  never  offered 


anything  unfinished  as  finished,  and  that  I  have  always  striven 
to  change  my  assertions  in  accordance  with  my  advancing 
views  ;  but  in  the  realm  of  the  dream  life  I  have  been  able  to 
stand  by  my  first  declarations.  During  the  long  years  of  my 
work  on  the  problems  of  the  neuroses,  I  have  been  repeatedly 
confronted  with  doubts,  and  have  often  made  mistakes  ;  but 
it  was  always  in  the  "  interpretation  of  dreams  "  that  I  found 
my  bearings.  My  numerous  scientific  opponents,  therefore, 
show  an  especially  sure  instinct  when  they  refuse  to  follow  me 
into  this  territory  of  dream  investigation . 

Likewise,  the  material  used  in  this  book  to  illustrate  the 
rules  of  dream  interpretation,  drawn  chiefly  from  dreams  of 
my  own  which  have  been  depreciated  and  outstripped  by 
events,  have  in  the  revision  shown  a  persistence  which  re- 
sisted substantial  changes.  For  me,  indeed,  the  book  has 
still  another  subjective  meaning  which  I  could  comprehend 
only  after  it  had  been  completed.  It  proved  to  be  for  me  a 
part  of  my  self -analysis,  a  reaction  to  the  death  of  my  father 
— that  is,  to  the  most  significant  event,  the  deepest  loss,  in 
the  life  of  a  man.  After  I  recognised  this  I  felt  powerless  to 
efface  the  traces  of  this  influence.  For  the  reader,  however, 
it  makes  no  difference  from  what  material  he  learns  to  value 
and  interpret  dreams. 

Berchtesgaden,  Summer  of  1908. 


Whereas  a  period  of  nine  years  elapsed  between  the  first  and 
second  editions  of  this  book,  the  need  for  a  third  edition  has 
appeared  after  little  more  than  a  year.  I  have  reason  to  be 
pleased  with  this  change  ;  but,  just  as  I  have  not  considered 
the  earlier  neglect  of  my  work  on  the  part  of  the  reader  as  a 
proof  of  its  unworthiness,  I  am  unable  to  find  in  the  interest 
manifested  at  present  a  proof  of  its  excellence. 

The  progress  in  scientific  knowledge  has  shown  its  influ- 
ence on  the  Interpretation  of  Dreams.  When  I  wrote  it  in 
1899  the  "  Sexual  Theories  "  was  not  yet  in  existence,  and  the 
analysis  of  complicated  forms  of  psychoneuroses  was  still  in 
its  infancy.  The  interpretation  of  dreams  was  destined  to 
aid  in  the  psychological  analysis  of  the  neuroses,  but  since 
then  the  deeper  understanding  of  the  neuroses  has  reacted 
on  our  conception  of  the  dream.  The  study  of  dream  in- 
terpretation itself  has  continued  to  develop  in  a  direction 
upon  which  not  enough  stress  was  laid  in  the  first  edition  of 
this  book.  From  my  own  experience,  as  well  as  from  the 
works  of  W.  Stekel  and  others,  I  have  since  learned  to  attach 
a  greater  value  to  the  extent  and  the  significance  of  sym- 
bolism in  dreams  (or  rather  in  the  unconscious  thinking). 
Thus  much  has  accumulated  in  the  course  of  this  year  which 
requires  consideration.  I  have  endeavoured  to  do  justice  to 
this  new  material  by  numerous  insertions  in  the  text  and  by 
the  addition  of  footnotes.  If  these  supplements  occasionally 
threaten  to  warp  the  original  discussion,  or  if,  even  with  their 
aid,  we  have  been  unsuccessful  in  raising  the  original  text  to  the 
niveau  of  our  present  views,  I  must  beg  indulgence  for  the 
gaps  in  the  book,  as  they  are  only  consequences  and  indica- 
tions of  the  present  rapid  development  of  our  knowledge.  I 
also  venture  to  foretell  in  what  other  directions  later  edi- 
tions of  the  Interpretation  of  Dreams — in  case  any  should  be 


demanded — will  differ  from  the  present  one.  They  will  have, 
on  the  one  hand,  to  include  selections  from  the  rich  material 
of  poetry,  myth,  usage  of  language,  and  folklore,  and,  on  the 
other  hand,  to  treat  more  profoundly  the  relations  of  the 
dream  to  the  neuroses  and  to  mental  diseases. 

Mr.  Otto  Rank  has  rendered  me  valuable  service  in  the 
selection  of  the  addenda  and  in  reading  the  proof  sheets.  I 
am  gratefully  indebted  to  him  and  to  many  others  for  their 
contributions  and  corrections. 

Vienna,  Spring  of  1911. 


Since  the  appearance  of  the  author's  Selected  Papers  on 
Hysteria  and  other  Psychoneuroses,  and  Three  Contributions  to 
the  Sexual  Theory*  much  has  been  said  and  written  about 
Freud's  works.  Some  of  our  readers  have  made  an  honest 
endeavour  to  test  and  utilise  the  author's  theories,  but  they 
have  been  handicapped  by  their  inability  to  read  fluently 
very  difficult  German,  for  only  two  of  Freud's  works  have 
hitherto  been  accessible  to  English  readers.  For  them  this 
work  will  be  of  invaluable  assistance.  To  be  sure,  numerous 
articles  on  the  Freudian  psychology  have  of  late  made  their 
appearance  in  our  literature ;  f  but  these  scattered  papers, 
read  by  those  unacquainted  with  the  original  work,  often  serve 
to  confuse  rather  than  enlighten.  For  Freud  cannot  be 
mastered  from  the  reading  of  a  few  pamphlets,  or  even  one  or 
two  of  his  original  works.  Let  me  repeat  what  I  have  so  often 
said  :  No  one  is  really  qualified  to  use  or  to  judge  Freud's 
psychoanalytic  method  who  has  not  thoroughly  mastered 
his  theory  of  the  neuroses — The  Interpretation  of  Dreams, 
Three  Contributions  to  the  Sexual  Theory,  The  Psychopathology 
of  Everyday  Life,  and  Wit  and  its  Relation  to  the  Unconscious, 
and  who  has  not  had  considerable  experience  in  analysing 
the  dreams  and  psychopathological  actions  of  himself  and 
others.  That  there  is  required  also  a  thorough  training  in 
normal  and  abnormal  psychology  goes  without  saying. 

The  Interpretation  of  Dreams  is  the  author's  greatest  and 
most  important  work  ;  it  is  here  that  he  develops  his  psycho- 
analytic technique,  a  thorough  knowledge  of  which  is  abso- 
lutely indispensable  for  every  worker  in  this  field.  The  difficult 
task  of  making  a  translation  of  this  work  has,  therefore,  been 

*  Translated  by  A.  A.  Brill  (Journal  of  Nervous  and  Mental  Disease 
Publishing  Company). 

f  Cf.  the  works  of  Ernest  Jones,  James  J.  Putnam,  the  present  writer, 
and  others. 


undertaken  primarily  for  the  purpose  of  assisting  those  who 
are  actively  engaged  in  treating  patients  by  Freud's  psycho- 
analytic method.  Considered  apart  from  its  practical  aim, 
the  book  presents  much  that  is  of  interest  to  the  psychologist 
and  the  general  reader.  For,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that 
dreams  have  of  late  years  been  the  subject  of  investigation 
at  the  hands  of  many  competent  observers,  only  few  have 
contributed  anything  tangible  towards  their  solution  ;  it  was 
Freud  who  divested  the  dream  of  its  mystery,  and  solved  its 
riddles.  He  not  only  showed  us  that  the  dream  is  full  of 
meaning,  but  amply  demonstrated  that  it  is  intimately  con- 
nected with  normal  and  abnormal  mental  life.  It  is  in  the 
treatment  of  the  abnormal  mental  states  that  we  must  re- 
cognise the  most  important  value  of  dream  interpretation. 
The  dream  does  not  only  reveal  to  us  the  cryptic  mechanisms 
of  hallucinations,  delusions,  phobias,  obsessions,  and  other 
psychopathological  conditions,  but  it  is  also  the  most  potent 
instrument  in  the  removal  of  these.* 

I  take  this  opportunity  of  expressing  my  indebtedness  to 
Professor  F.  C.  Prescott  for  reading  the  manuscript  and  for 
helping  me  overcome  the  almost  insurmountable  difficulties 
in  the  translation. 

A.  A.  BRILL. 

New  York  City. 

*  For  examples  demonstrating  these  facts,  cf.  my  work,  Psychoanalysis  ; 
its  Theories  and  Practical  Application,  W.  B.  Saunders'  Publishing  Company, 
Philadelphia  &  London. 



I.  The  Scientific  Literature  on  the  Problems  op 

the  Dream 1 

II.  Method  of  Dream  Interpretation  :   The  Analysis 

op  a  Sample  Dream 80 

III.  The  Dream  is  the  Fulfilment  of  a  Wish      .        .  103 

IV.  Distortion  in  Dreams 113 

V.  The  Material  and  Sources  of  Dreams  .        .        .  138 

VI.  The  Dream- Work 260 

VII.  The  Psychology  of  the  Dream  Activities     .        .  403 

VIII.  Literary  Index  . 494 

INDEX          .........  501 




In  the  following  pages  I  shall  prove  that  there  exists  a  psycho- 
logical technique  by  which  dreams  may  be  interpreted,  and 
that  upon  the  application  of  this  method  every  dream  will 
show  itself  to  be  a  senseful  psychological  structure  which 
may  be  introduced  into  an  assignable  place  in  the  psychic 
activity  of  the  waking  state.  I  shall  furthermore  endeavour 
to  explain  the  processes  which  give  rise  to  the  strangeness 
and  obscurity  of  the  dream,  and  to  discover  through  them 
the  nature  of  the  psychic  forces  which  operate,  whether  in 
combination  or  in  opposition,  to  produce  the  dream.  This 
accomplished,  my  investigation  will  terminate,  as  it  will  have 
reached  the  point  where  the  problem  of  the  dream  meets  with 
broader  problems,  the  solution  of  which  must  be  attempted 
through  other  material. 

I  must  presuppose  that  the  reader  is  acquainted  with  the 
work  done  by  earlier  authors  as  well  as  with  the  present 
status  of  the  dream  problem  in  science,  since  in  the  course  of 
this  treatise  I  shall  not  often  have  occasion  to  return  to  them. 
For,  notwithstanding  the  effort  of  several  thousand  years, 
little  progress  has  been  made  in  the  scientific  understanding 
of  dreams.  This  has  been  so  universally  acknowledged  by 
the  authors  that  it  seems  unnecessary  to  quote  individual 
opinions.  One  will  find  in  the  writings  indexed  at  the  end 
of  this  book  many  stimulating  observations  and  plenty  of 
interesting   material   for    our   subject,    but   little   or   nothing 

*  To  the  first  publication  of  this  book,  1900. 


that  concerns  the  true  nature  of  the  dream  or  that  solves 
definitively  any  of  its  enigmas.  Still  less  of  course  has  been 
transmitted  to  the  knowledge  of  the  educated  laity. 

The  first  book  in  which  the  dream  is  treated  as  an  object 
of  psychology  seems  to  be  that  of  Aristotle  x  (Concerning 
Dreams  and  their  Interpretation).  Aristotle  asserts  that  the 
dream  is  of  demoniacal,  though  not  of  divine  nature,  which 
indeed  contains  deep  meaning,  if  it  be  correctly  interpreted. 
He  was  also  acquainted  with  some  of  the  characteristics  of 
dream  life,  e.g.,  he  knew  that  the  dream  turns  slight  sensa- 
tions perceived  during  sleep  into  great  ones  ("  one  imagines 
that  one  walks  through  fire  and  feels  hot,  if  this  or  that  part 
of  the  body  becomes  slightly  warmed  "),  which  led  him  to 
conclude  that  dreams  might  easily  betray  to  the  physician 
the  first  indications  of  an  incipient  change  in  the  body  passing 
unnoticed  during  the  day.  I  have  been  unable  to  go  more 
deeply  into  the  Aristotelian  treatise,  because  of  insufficient 
preparation  and  lack  of  skilled  assistance. 

As  every  one  knows,  the  ancients  before  Aristotle  did  not 
consider  the  dream  a  product  of  the  dreaming  mind,  but  a 
divine  inspiration,  and  in  ancient  times  the  two  antagonistic 
streams,  which  one  finds  throughout  in  the  estimates  of 
dream  life,  were  already  noticeable.  They  distinguished 
between  true  and  valuable  dreams,  sent  to  the  dreamer  to 
warn  him  or  to  foretell  the  future,  and  vain,  fraudulent,  and 
empty  dreams,  the  object  of  which  was  to  misguide  or  lead 
him  to  destruction.*  This  pre-scientific  conception  of  the 
dream  among  the  ancients  was  certainly  in  perfect  keeping 
with  their  general  view  of  life,  which  was  wont  to  project  as 
reality  in  the  outer  world  that  which  possessed  reality  only 
within  the  mind.     It,  moreover,  accounted  for  the  main  im- 

*  Compare,  on  the  other  hand,  O.  Gruppe,  Griechische  Mythologie  und 
Religionsgeschichte,  p.  390.  "  Dreams  were  divided  into  two  classes  ;  the  first 
were  influenced  only  hy  the  present  (or  past),  and  were  unimportant  for  the 
future  :  they  emhraced  the  ivvwvia,  insomnia,  which  immediately  produces 
the  given  idea  or  its  opposite,  e.g.  hunger  or  its  satiation,  and  the  cpavrda/xara, 
which  elaborates  the  given  idea  phantastically,  as  e.g.  the  nightmare,  ephialtes. 
The  second  class  was,  on  the  other  hand,  determinant  for  the  future.  To 
this  belong:  (1)  direct  prophecies  received  in  the  dream  (xpviUiaTta'^i,  oracu- 
lum)  ;  (2)  the  foretelling  of  a  future  event  (Öpa/ia)  ■  (3)  the  symbolic  or  the 
dream  requiring  interpretation  (6veipos,  somnium).  This  theory  has  been 
preserved  for  many  centuries." 


pression  made  upon  the  waking  life  by  the  memory  left  from 
the  dream  in  the  morning,  for  in  this  memory  the  dream,  as 
compared  with  the  rest  of  the  psychic  content,  seems  some- 
thing strange,  coming,  as  it  were,  from  another  world.  It 
would  likewise  be  wrong  to  suppose  that  the  theory  of  the 
supernatural  origin  of  dreams  lacks  followers  in  our  own  day  ; 
for  leaving  out  of  consideration  all  bigoted  and  mystical 
authors — who  are  perfectly  justified  in  adhering  to  the 
remnants  of  the  once  extensive  realm  of  the  supernatural 
until  they  have  been  swept  away  by  scientific  explanation 
— one  meets  even  sagacious  men  averse  to  anything  adven- 
turous, who  go  so  far  as  to  base  their  religious  belief  in  the 
existence  and  co-operation  of  superhuman  forces  on  the 
inexplicableness  of  the  dream  manifestations  (Hafmer 32). 
The  validity  ascribed  to  the  dream  life  by  some  schools  of 
philosophy,  e.g.  the  school  of  Schelling,  is  a  distinct  echo  of 
the  undisputed  divinity  of  dreams  in  antiquity,  nor  is  dis- 
cussion closed  on  the  subject  of  the  mantic  or  prophetic  power 
of  dreams.  This  is  due  to  the  fact  that  the  attempted  psycho- 
logical explanations  are  too  inadequate  to  overcome  the 
accumulated  material,  however  strongly  all  those  who  devote 
themselves  to  a  scientific  mode  of  thought  may  feel  that  such 
assertions  should  be  repudiated. 

To  write  a  history  of  our  scientific  knowledge  of  dream 
problems  is  so  difficult  because,  however  valuable  some  parts 
of  this  knowledge  may  have  been,  no  progress  in  definite 
directions  has  been  discernible.  There  has  been  no  con- 
struction of  a  foundation  of  assured  results  upon  which  future 
investigators  could  continue  to  build,  but  every  new  author 
takes  up  the  same  problems  afresh  and  from  the  very  beginning. 
Were  I  to  follow  the  authors  in  chronological  order,  and  give 
a  review  of  the  opinions  each  has  held  concerning  the  problems 
of  the  dream,  I  should  be  prevented  from  drawing  a  clear  and 
complete  picture  of  the  present  state  of  knowledge  on  the 
subject.  I  have  therefore  preferred  to  base  the  treatment 
upon  themes  rather  than  upon  the  authors,  and  I  shall  cite 
for  each  problem  of  the  dream  the  material  found  in  the 
literature  for  its  solution. 

But  as  I  have  not  succeeded  in  mastering  the  entire 
literature,  which  is  widely  disseminated  and  interwoven  with 


that  on  other  subjects,  I  must  ask  my  readers  to  rest  content 
provided  no  fundamental  fact  or  important  viewpoint  be  lost 
in  my  description. 

Until  recently  most  authors  have  been  led  to  treat  the 
subjects  of  sleep  and  dream  in  the  same  connection,  and  with 
them  they  have  also  regularly  treated  analogous  states  of 
psychopathology,  and  other  dreamlike  states  like  hallucina- 
tions, visions,  &c.  In  the  more  recent  works,  on  the  other 
hand,  there  has  been  a  tendency  to  keep  more  closely  to  the 
theme,  and  to  take  as  the  subject  one  single  question  of  the 
dream  life.  This  change,  I  believe,  is  an  expression  of  the 
conviction  that  enlightenment  and  agreement  in  such  obscure 
matters  can  only  be  brought  about  by  a  series  of  detailed 
investigations.  It  is  such  a  detailed  investigation  and  one  of 
a  special  psychological  nature,  that  I  would  offer  here.  I  have 
little  occasion  to  study  the  problem  of  sleep,  as  it  is  essentially 
a  psychological  problem,  although  the  change  of  functional 
determinations  for  the  mental  apparatus  must  be  included  in 
the  character  of  sleep.  The  literature  of  sleep  will  therefore 
not  be  considered  here. 

A  scientific  interest  in  the  phenomena  of  dreams  as  such 
leads  to  the  following  in  part  interdependent  inquiries  : 

(a)  The  Relation  of  the  Dream  to  the  Waking  State. — The  naive 
judgment  of  a  person  on  awakening  assumes  that  the  dream — 
if  indeed  it  does  not  originate  in  another  world — at  any  rate 
has  taken  the  dreamer  into  another  world.  The  old  physio- 
logist, Burdach,8  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  a  careful  and 
discriminating  description  of  the  phenomena  of  dreams,  ex- 
pressed this  conviction  in  an  often-quoted  passage,  p.  474  : 
"  The  waking  life  never  repeats  itself  with  its  trials  and  joys, 
its  pleasures  and  pains,  but,  on  the  contrary,  the  dream  aims  to 
relieve  us  of  these.  Even  when  our  whole  mind  is  filled  with 
one  subject,  when  profound  sorrow  has  torn  our  hearts  or 
when  a  task  has  claimed  the  whole  power  of  our  mentality,  the 
dream  either  gives  us  something  entirely  strange,  or  it  takes  for 
its  combinations  only  a  few  elements  from  reality,  or  it  only 
enters  into  the  strain  of  our  mood  and  symbolises  reality." 

L.  Strümpell 68  expresses  himself  to  the  same  effect  in  his 
Nature  and  Origin  of  Dreams  (p.  16),  a  study  which  is  every- 
where justly  held  ir>  high  respect  :    "He  who  dreams  turns 


his  back  upon  the  world  of  waking  consciousness  "  (p.  17).  "In 
the  dream  the  memory  of  the  orderly  content  of  the  waking 
consciousness  and  its  normal  behaviour  is  as  good  as  entirely 
lost  "  (p.  19).  "  The  almost  complete  isolation  of  the  mind 
in  the  dream  from  the  regular  normal  content  and  course  of 
the  waking  state  ..." 

But  the  overwhelming  majority  of  the  authors  have 
assumed  a  contrary  view  of  the  relation  of  the  dream  to 
waking  life.  Thus  Haffner  32  (p.  19)  :  "  First  of  all  the  dream 
is  the  continuation  of  the  waking  state.  Our  dreams  always 
unite  themselves  with  those  ideas  which  have  shortly  before 
been  in  our  consciousness.  Careful  examination  will  nearly 
always  find  a  thread  by  which  the  dream  has  connected  itself 
with  the  experience  of  the  previous  day."  Weygandt 75 
(p.  6),  flatly  contradicts  the  above  cited  statement  of  Burdach  : 
"  For  it  may  often  be  observed,  apparently  in  the  great 
majority  of  dreams,  that  they  lead  us  directly  back  into 
everyday  life,  instead  of  releasing  us  from  it."  Maury 48 
(p.  56),  says  in  a  concise  formula  :  "  Nous  revons  de  ce  que 
nous  avons  vu,  dit,  desire  ou  fait."  Jessen, 36  in  his  Psychology, 
published  in  1855  (p.  530),  is  somewhat  more  explicit :  "  The 
content  of  dreams  is  more  or  less  determined  by  the  individual 
personality,  by  age,  sex,  station  in  life,  education,  habits,  and 
by  events  and  experiences  of  the  whole  past  life." 

The  ancients  had  the  same  idea  about  the  dependence  of 
the  dream  content  upon  life.  I  cite  Radestock 54  (p.  139) : 
"  When  Xerxes,  before  his  march  against  Greece,  was  dis- 
suaded from  this  resolution  by  good  counsel,  but  was  again 
and  again  incited  by  dreams  to  undertake  it,  one  of  the  old 
rational  dream-interpreters  of  the  Persians,  Artabanus,  told 
him  very  appropriately  that  dream  pictures  mostly  contain 
that  of  which  one  has  been  thinking  while  awake." 

In  the  didactic  poem  of  Lucretius,  De  Rerum  Natura 
(IV,  v.  959),  occurs  this  passage  : — 

"  Et  quo  quisque  fere  studio  devinctus  adhaeret, 
aut  quibus  in  rebus  multum  sumus  ante  morati 
atque  in  ea  ratione  fuit  contenta  magis  mens, 
in  somnis  eadem  plerumque  videmur  obire ; 
causidici  causas  agere  et  componere  leges, 
induperatores  pugnare  ac  proelia  obire,"  &c,  &c. 


Cicero  {De  Divinatione,  II)  says  quite  similarly,  as  does 
also  Maury  much  later  : — 

"  Maximeque  reliquiae  earum  rerum  moventur  in  animis 
et  agitantur,  de  quibus  vigilantes  aut  cogitavimus  aut  egimus." 

The  contradiction  expressed  in  these  two  views  as  to  the 
relation  between  dream  life  and  waking  life  seems  indeed 
insoluble.  It  will  therefore  not  be  out  of  place  to  mention 
the  description  of  F.  W.  Hildebrandt 35  (1875),  who  believes 
that  the  peculiarities  of  the  dream  can  generally  be  described 
only  by  calling  them  a  "  series  of  contrasts  which  apparently 
shade  off  into  contradictions  "  (p.  8).  "  The  first  of  these 
contrasts  is  formed  on  the  one  hand  by  the  strict  isolation  or 
seclusion  of  the  dream  from  true  and  actual  life,  and  on  the 
other  hand  by  the  continuous  encroachment  of  the  one  upon 
the  other,  and  the  constant  dependency  of  one  upon  the 
other.  The  dream  is  something  absolutely  separated  from 
the  reality  experienced  during  the  waking  state  ;  one  may  call 
it  an  existence  hermetically  sealed  up  and  separated  from 
real  life  by  an  unsurmountable  chasm.  It  frees  us  from 
reality,  extinguishes  normal  recollection  of  reality,  and  places 
us  in  another  world  and  in  a  totally  different  life,  which  at 
bottom  has  nothing  in  common  with  reality.  .  .  ."  Hildebrandt 
then  asserts  that  in  falling  asleep  our  whole  being,  with  all  its 
forms  of  existence,  disappears  "  as  through  an  invisible  trap 
door."  In  the  dream  one  is  perhaps  making  a  voyage  to 
St.  Helena  in  order  to  offer  the  imprisoned  Napoleon  something 
exquisite  in  the  way  of  Moselle  wine.  One  is  most  amicably 
received  by  the  ex-emperor,  and  feels  almost  sorry  when  the 
interesting  illusion  is  destroyed  on  awakening.  But  let  us 
now  compare  the  situation  of  the  dream  with  reality.  The 
dreamer  has  never  been  a  wine  merchant,  and  has  no  desire  to 
become  one.  He  has  never  made  a  sea  voyage,  and  St.  Helena 
is  the  last  place  he  would  take  as  destination  for  such  a  voyage. 
The  dreamer  entertains  no  sympathetic  feeling  for  Napoleon, 
but  on  the  contrary  a  strong  patriotic  hatred.  And  finally  the 
dreamer  was  not  yet  among  the  living  when  Napoleon  died  on 
the  island  ;  so  that  it  was  beyond  the  reach  of  possibility  for 
him  to  have  had  any  personal  relations  with  Napoleon.  The 
dream  experience  thus  appears  as  something  strange,  inserted 
between  two  perfectly  harmonising  and  succeeding  periods. 


"  Nevertheless,"  continues  Hildebrandt,  "  the  opposite  is 
seemingly  just  as  true  and  correct.  I  believe  that  hand  in 
hand  with  this  seclusion  and  isolation  there  can  still  exist 
the  most  intimate  relation  and  connection.  We  may  justly 
say  that  no  matter  what  the  dream  offers,  it  finds  its  material 
in  reality  and  in  the  psychic  life  arrayed  around  this  reality. 
However  strange  the  dream  may  seem,  it  can  never  detach 
itself  from  reality,  and  its  most  sublime  as  well  as  its  most 
farcical  structures  must  always  borrow  their  elementary 
material  either  from  what  we  have  seen  with  our  eyes  in  the 
outer  world,  or  from  what  has  previously  found  a  place  some- 
where in  our  waking  thoughts  ;  in  other  words,  it  must  be 
taken  from  what  we  had  already  experienced  either  objectively 
or  subjectively." 

(b)  The  Material  of  the  Dream. — Memory  in  the  Dream. — 
That  all  the  material  composing  the  content  of  the  dream  in 
some  way  originates  in  experience,  that  it  is  reproduced  in 
the  dream,  or  recalled, — this  at  least  may  be  taken  as  an 
indisputable  truth.  Yet  it  would  be  wrong  to  assume  that 
such  connection  between  dream  content  and  reality  will  be 
readily  disclosed  as  an  obvious  product  of  the  instituted  com- 
parison. On  the  contrary,  the  connection  must  be  carefully 
sought,  and  in  many  cases  it  succeeds  in  eluding  discovery  for 
a  long  time.  The  reason  for  this  is  to  be  found  in  a  number  of 
peculiarities  evinced  by  the  memory  in  dreams,  which,  though 
universally  known,  have  hitherto  entirely  eluded  explanation. 
It  will  be  worth  while  to  investigate  exhaustively  these 

It  often  happens  that  matter  appears  in  the  dream  content 
which  one  cannot  recognise  later  in  the  waking  state  as  be- 
longing to  one's  knowledge  and  experience.  One  remembers 
well  enough  having  dreamed  about  the  subject  in  question, 
but  cannot  recall  the  fact  or  time  of  the  experience.  The 
dreamer  is  therefore  in  the  dark  as  to  the  source  from  which 
the  dream  has  been  drawing,  and  is  even  tempted  to  believe 
an  independently  productive  activity  on  the  part  of  the 
dream,  until,  often  long  afterwards,  a  new  episode  brings  back 
to  recollection  a  former  experience  given  up  as  lost,  and  thus 
reveals  the  source  of  the  dream.  One  is  thus  forced  to  admit 
that  something  has  been  known  and  remembered  in  the  dream 


that  has  been  withdrawn  from  memory  during  the  waking 

Delbceuf  16  narrates  from  his  own  experience  an  especially 
impressive  example  of  this  kind.  He  saw  in  his  dream  the 
courtyard  of  his  house  covered  with  snow,  and  found  two 
little  lizards  half-frozen  and  buried  in  the  snow.  Being  a 
lover  of  animals,  he  picked  them  up,  warmed  them,  and  put 
them  back  into  a  crevice  in  the  wall  which  was  reserved  for 
them.  He  also  gave  them  some  small  fern  leaves  that  had 
been  growing  on  the  wall,  which  he  knew  they  were  fond 
of.  In  the  dream  he  knew  the  name  of  the  plant :  Asplenium 
ruta  muralis.  The  dream  then  continued,  returning  after  a 
digression  to  the  lizards,  and  to  his  astonishment  Delbceuf 
saw  two  other  little  animals  falling  upon  what  was  left  of  the 
ferns.  On  turning  his  eyes  to  the  open  field  he  saw  a  fifth 
and  a  sixth  lizard  running  into  the  hole  in  the  wall,  and  finally 
the  street  was  covered  with  a  procession  of  lizards,  all  wander- 
ing in  the  same  direction,  &c. 

In  his  waking  state  Delbceuf  knew  only  a  few  Latin  names 
of  plants,  and  nothing  of  the  Asplenium.  To  his  great  surprise 
he  became  convinced  that  a  fern  of  this  name  really  existed 
and  that  the  correct  name  was  Asplenium  ruta  muraria,  which 
the  dream  had  slightly  disfigured.  An  accidental  coincidence 
could  hardly  be  considered,  but  it  remained  a  mystery  for 
Delbceuf  whence  he  got  his  knowledge  of  the  name  Asplenium 
in  the  dream. 

The  dream  occurred  in  1862.  Sixteen  years  later,  while 
at  the  house  of  one  of  his  friends,  the  philosopher  noticed  a 
small  album  containing  dried  plants  resembling  the  albums 
that  are  sold  as  souvenirs  to  visitors  in  many  parts  of  Switzer- 
land. A  sudden  recollection  occurred  to  him  ;  he  opened 
the  herbarium,  and  discovered  therein  the  Asplenium  of  his 
dream,  and  recognised  his  own  handwriting  in  the  accom- 
panying Latin  name.  The  connection  could  now  be  traced. 
While  on  her  wedding  trip,  a  sister  of  this  friend  visited  Delbceuf 
in  1860 — two  years  prior  to  the  lizard  dream.  She  had  with 
her  at  the  time  this  album,  which  was  intended  for  her  brother, 
and  Delbceuf  took  the  trouble  to  write,  at  the  dictation  of  a 
botanist,  under  each  of  the  dried  plants  the  Latin  name. 

The  favourable  accident  which  made  possible  the  report  of 


this  valuable  example  also  permitted  Delbceuf  to  trace  another 
portion  of  this  dream  to  its  forgotten  source.  One  day  in 
1877  he  came  upon  an  old  volume  of  an  illustrated  journal, 
in  which  he  found  pictured  the  whole  procession  of  lizards 
just  as  he  had  dreamed  it  in  1862.  The  volume  bore  the  date 
of  1861,  and  Delbceuf  could  recall  that  he  had  subscribed  to 
the  journal  from  its  first  appearance. 

That  the  dream  has  at  its  disposal  recollections  which  are 
inaccessible  to  the  waking  state  is  such  a  remarkable  and 
theoretically  important  fact  that  I  should  like  to  urge  more 
attention  to  it  by  reporting  several  other  "  Hypermnesic 
Dreams."  Maury 48  relates  that  for  some  time  the  word 
Mussidan  used  to  occur  to  his  mind  during  the  day.  He  knew 
it  to  be  the  name  of  a  French  city,  but  nothing  else.  One 
night  he  dreamed  of  a  conversation  with  a  certain  person  who 
told  him  that  she  came  from  Mussidan,  and,  in  answer  to  his 
question  where  the  city  was,  she  replied  :  "  Mussidan  is  a 
principal  country  town  in  the  Departement  de  La  Dordogne." 
On  waking,  Maury  put  no  faith  in  the  information  received  in 
his  dream  ;  the  geographical  lexicon,  however,  showed  it  to  be 
perfectly  correct.  In  this  case  the  superior  knowledge  of  the 
dream  is  confirmed,  but  the  forgotten  source  of  this  knowledge 
has  not  been  traced. 

Jessen  36  tells  (p.  55)  of  a  quite  similar  dream  occurrence, 
from  more  remote  times.  "  Among  others  we  may  here 
mention  the  dream  of  the  elder  Scaliger  (Hennings,  I.e.,  p.  300), 
who  wrote  a  poem  in  praise  of  celebrated  men  of  Verona,  and 
to  whom  a  man,  named  Brugnolus,  appeared  in  a  dream, 
complaining  that  he  had  been  neglected.  Though  Scaliger 
did  not  recall  ever  having  heard  of  him,  he  wrote  some  verses 
in  his  honour,  and  his  son  later  discovered  at  Verona  that  a 
Brugnolus  had  formerly  been  famous  there  as  a  critic. 

Myers  is  said  to  have  published  a  whole  collection  of  such 
hypermnesic  dreams  in  the  Proceedings  of  the  Society  for 
Psychical  Research,  which  are  unfortunately  inaccessible  to 
me.  I  believe  every  one  who  occupies  himself  with  dreams 
will  recognise  as  a  very  common  phenomenon  the  fact  that  the 
dream  gives  proof  of  knowing  and  recollecting  matters  unknown 
to  the  waking  person.  In  my  psychoanalytic  investigations 
of  nervous  patients,  of  which  I  shall  speak  later,  I  am  every 


week  more  than  once  in  position  to  convince  my  patients  from 
their  dreams  that  they  are  well  acquainted  with  quotations, 
obscene  expressions,  &c,  and  that  they  make  use  of  these  in 
their  dreams,  although  they  have  forgotten  them  in  the  waking 
state.  I  shall  cite  here  a  simple  case  of  dream  hypermnesia 
because  it  was  easy  to  trace  the  source  which  made  the  know- 
ledge accessible  to  the  dream. 

A  patient  dreamed  in  a  lengthy  connection  that  he  ordered 
a  "  Kontuszöwka  "  in  a  cafe,  and  after  reporting  this  inquired 
what  it  might  mean,  as  he  never  heard  the  name  before.  I 
was  able  to  answer  that  Kontuszöwka  was  a  Polish  liquor 
which  he  could  not  have  invented  in  his  dream,  as  the  name 
had  long  been  familiar  to  me  in  advertisements.  The  patient 
would  not  at  first  believe  me,  but  some  days  later,  after  he  had 
realised  his  dream  of  the  cafe,  he  noticed  the  name  on  a  sign- 
board at  the  street  corner,  which  he  had  been  obliged  to  pass 
for  months  at  least  twice  a  day. 

I  have  learned  from  my  own  dreams  how  largely  the  dis- 
covery of  the  origin  of  some  of  the  dream  elements  depends 
on  accident.  Thus,  for  years  before  writing  this  book,  I  was 
haunted  by  the  picture  of  a  very  simply  formed  church  tower 
which  I  could  not  recall  having  seen.  I  then  suddenly  re- 
cognised it  with  absolute  certainty  at  a  small  station  between 
Salzburg  and  Reichenhall.  This  was  in  the  later  nineties, 
and  I  had  travelled  over  the  road  for  the  first  time  in  the  year 
1886.  In  later  years,  when  I  was  already  busily  engaged  in 
the  study  of  dreams,  I  was  quite  annoyed  at  the  frequent  re- 
currence of  the  dream  picture  of  a  certain  peculiar  locality. 
I  saw  it  in  definite  local  relation  to  my  person — to  my  left,  a 
dark  space  from  which  many  grotesque  sandstone  figures 
stood  out.  A  glimmer  of  recollection,  which  I  did  not  quite 
credit,  told  me  it  was  the  entrance  to  a  beer-cellar,  but  I 
could  explain  neither  the  meaning  nor  the  origin  of  this  dream 
picture.  In  1907  I  came  by  chance  to  Padua,  which,  to  my 
regret,  I  had  been  unable  to  visit  since  1895.  My  first  visit 
to  this  beautiful  university  city  was  unsatisfactory  ;  I  was 
unable  to  see  Giotto's  frescoes  in  the  church  of  the  Madonna 
dell'  Arena,  and  on  my  way  there  turned  back  on  being  in- 
formed that  the  little  church  was  closed  on  the  day.  On  my 
second  visit,   twelve  years  later,   I  thought  of  compensating 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         11 

myself  for  this,  and  before  everything  else  I  started  out  for 
Madonna  dell'  Arena.  On  the  street  leading  to  it,  on  my  left, 
probably  at  the  place  where  I  had  turned  in  1895,  I  discovered 
the  locality  which  I  had  so  often  seen  in  the  dream,  with  its 
sandstone  figures.  It  was  in  fact  the  entrance  to  a  restaurant 

One  of  the  sources  from  which  the  dream  draws  material 
for  reproduction — material  which  in  part  is  not  recalled  or 
employed  in  waking  thought — is  found  in  childhood.  I 
shall  merely  cite  some  of  the  authors  who  have  observed  and 
emphasized  this. 

Hildebrandt 35  (p.  23)  :  "  It  has  already  been  expressly 
admitted  that  the  dream  sometimes  brings  back  to  the  mind 
with  wonderful  reproductive  ability  remote  and  even  forgotten 
experiences  from  the  earliest  periods." 

Strümpell 66  (p.  40)  :  "  The  subject  becomes  more  inter- 
esting when  we  remember  how  the  dream  sometimes  brings 
forth,  as  it  were,  from  among  the  deepest  and  heaviest  strata 
which  later  years  have  piled  upon  the  earliest  childhood  ex- 
periences, the  pictures  of  certain  places,  things,  and  persons, 
quite  uninjured  and  with  their  original  freshness.  This  is  not 
limited  merely  to  such  impressions  as  have  gained  vivid  con- 
sciousness during  their  origin  or  have  become  impressed  with 
strong  psychic  validity,  and  then  later  return  in  the  dream  as 
actual  reminiscences,  causing  pleasure  to  the  awakened  con- 
sciousness. On  the  contrary,  the  depths  of  the  dream  memory 
comprise  also  such  pictures  of  persons,  things,  places,  and 
early  experiences  as  either  possessed  but  little  consciousness 
and  no  psychic  value  at  all,  or  have  long  ago  lost  both,  and  there- 
fore appear  totally  strange  and  unknown  both  in  the  dream  and 
in  the  waking  state,  until  their  former  origin  is  revealed." 

Volkelt72  (p.  119):  "It  is  essentially  noteworthy  how 
easily  infantile  and  youthful  reminiscences  enter  into  the 
dream.  What  we  have  long  ceased  to  think  about,  what  has 
long  since  lost  for  us  all  importance,  is  constantly  recalled  by 
the  dream." 

The  sway  of  the  dream  over  the  infantile  material,  which, 
as  is  well  known,  mostly  occupies  the  gaps  in  the  conscious 
memory,  causes  the  origin  of  interesting  hypermnestic  dreams, 
a  few  of  which  I  shall  here  report. 


Maury  48  relates  (p.  92)  that  as  a  child  he  often  went  from 
his  native  city,  Meaux,  to  the  neighbouring  Trilport,  where 
his  father  superintended  the  construction  of  a  bridge.  On  a 
certain  night  a  dream  transported  him  to  Trilport,  and  he  was 
again  playing  in  the  city  streets.  A  man  approached  him 
wearing  some  sort  of  uniform.     Maury  asked  him  his  name, 

and  he  introduced  himself,  saying  that  his  name  was  C , 

and  that  he  was  a  bridge  guard.  On  waking,  Maury,  who 
still  doubted  the  reality  of  the  reminiscence,  asked  his  old 
servant,  who  had  been  with  him  in  his  childhood,  whether  she 
remembered  a  man  of  this  name.  "  Certainly,"  was  the 
answer,  "  he  used  to  be  watchman  on  the  bridge  which  your 
father  was  building  at  that  time." 

Maury  reports  another  example  demonstrating  just  as 
nicely  the  reliability  of   infantile  reminiscences  appearing  in 

dreams.     Mr.  F ,  who  had  lived  as  a  child  in  Montbrison, 

decided  to  visit  his  home  and  old  friends  of  his  family  after 
an  absence  of  twenty-five  years.  The  night  before  his  de- 
parture he  dreamt  that  he  had  reached  his  destination,  and 
that  he  met  near  Montbrison  a  man,  whom  he  did  not  know  by 
sight,  who  told  him  he  was  Mr.  F.,  a  friend  of  his  father.  The 
dreamer  remembered  that  as  a  child  he  had  known  a  gentle- 
man of  this  name,  but  on  waking  he  could  no  longer  recall  his 
features.  Several  days  later,  having  really  arrived  at  Mont- 
brison, he  found  the  supposedly  unknown  locality  of  his  dream, 
and  there  met  a  man  whom  he  at  once  recognised  as  the  Mr.  F. 
of  his  dream.  The  real  person  was  only  older  than  the  one  in 
the  dream  picture. 

I  may  here  relate  one  of  my  own  dreams  in  which  the 
remembered  impression  is  replaced  by  an  association.  In  my 
dream  I  saw  a  person  whom  I  recognised,  while  dreaming,  as 
the  physician  of  my  native  town.  The  features  were  indistinct 
and  confused  with  the  picture  of  one  of  my  colleague  teachers, 
whom  I  still  see  occasionally.  What  association  there  was 
between  the  two  persons  I  could  not  discover  on  awakening. 
But  upon  questioning  my  mother  about  the  physician  of  my 
early  childhood,  I  discovered  that  he  was  a  one-eyed  man. 
My  teacher,  whose  figure  concealed  that  of  the  physician  in 
the  dream,  was  also  one-eyed.  I  have  not  seen  the  physician 
for  thirty-eight  years,  and  I  havo  not  to  my  knowledge  thought 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM        13 

of  him  in  my  waking  state,  although  a  scar  on  my  chin  might 
have  reminded  me  of  his  help. 

As  if  to  counterbalance  the  immense  role  ascribed  to  the 
infantile  impressions  in  the  dream,  many  authors  assert  that 
the  majority  of  dreams  show  elements  from  the  most  recent 
time.  Thus  Robert 55  (p.  46)  declares  that  the  normal  dream 
generally  occupies  itself  only  with  the  impressions  of  the 
recent  days.  We  learn  indeed  that  the  theory  of  the  dream 
advanced  by  Robert  imperatively  demands  that  the  old  im- 
pressions should  be  pushed  back,  and  the  recent  ones  brought 
to  the  front.  Nevertheless  the  fact  claimed  by  Robert  really 
exists ;  I  can  confirm  this  from  my  own  investigations. 
Nelson,50  an  American  author,  thinks  that  the  impressions  most 
frequently  found  in  the  dream  date  from  two  or  three  days 
before,  as  if  the  impressions  of  the  day  immediately  preceding 
the  dream  were  not  sufficiently  weakened  and  remote. 

Many  authors  who  are  convinced  of  the  intimate  connec- 
tion between  the  dream  content  and  the  waking  state  are  im- 
pressed by  the  fact  that  impressions  which  have  intensely 
occupied  the  waking  mind  appear  in  the  dream  only  after  they 
have  been  to  some  extent  pushed  aside  from  the  elaboration 
of  the  waking  thought.  Thus,  as  a  rule,  we  do  not  dream  of  a 
dead  beloved  person  while  we  are  still  overwhelmed  with 
sorrow.  Still  Miss  Hallam,33  one  of  the  latest  observers,  has 
collected  examples  showing  the  very  opposite  behaviour,  and 
claims  for  the  point  the  right  of  individual  psychology. 

The  third  and  the  most  remarkable  and  incomprehensible 
peculiarity  of  the  memory  in  dreams,  is  shown  in  the  selection 
of  the  reproduced  material,  for  stress  is  laid  not  only  on  the 
most  significant,  but  also  on  the  most  indifferent  and  super- 
ficial reminiscences.  On  this  point  I  shall  quote  those  authors 
who  have  expressed  their  surprise  in  the  most  emphatic  manner. 

Hildebrandt35  (p.  11)  :  "For  it  is  a  remarkable  fact  that 
dreams  do  not,  as  a  rule,  take  their  elements  from  great  and 
deep-rooted  events  or  from  the  powerful  and  urgent  interests 
of  the  preceding  day,  but  from  unimportant  matters,  from  the 
most  worthless  fragments  of  recent  experience  or  of  a  more 
remote  past.  The  most  shocking  death  in  our  family,  the 
impressions  of  which  keep  us  awake  long  into  the  night,  be- 
comes obliterated  from  our  memories,  until  the  first  moment 


of  awakening  brings  it  back  to  us  with  depressing  force.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  wart  on  the  forehead  of  a  passing  stranger, 
of  whom  we  did  not  think  for  a  second  after  he  was  out  of  sight, 
plays  its  part  in  our  dreams." 

Strümpell 66  (p.  39)  :  "...  such  cases  where  the  analysis 
of  a  dream  brings  to  light  elements  which,  although  derived 
from  events  of  the  previous  day  or  the  day  before  the  last, 
yet  prove  to  be  so  unimportant  and  worthless  for  the  waking 
state  that  they  merge  into  forgetfulness  shortly  after  coming 
to  light.  Such  occurrences  may  be  statements  of  others 
heard  accidentally  or  actions  superficially  observed,  or  fleeting 
perceptions  of  things  or  persons,  or  single  phrases  from 
books,  &c." 

Havelock  Ellis  23  (p.  727)  :  "  The  profound  emotions  of 
waking  life,  the  questions  and  problems  on  which  we  spread 
our  chief  voluntary  mental  energy,  are  not  those  which 
usually  present  themselves  at  once  to  dream-consciousness. 
It  is,  so  far  as  the  immediate  past  is  concerned,  mostly  the 
trifling,  the  incidental,  the  "  forgotten  "  impressions  of  daily 
life  which  reappear  in  our  dreams.  The  psychic  activities 
that  are  awake  most  intensely  are  those  that  sleep  most 

Binz 4  (p.  45)  takes  occasion  from  the  above-mentioned 
characteristics  of  the  memory  in  dreams  to  express  his  dis- 
satisfaction with  explanations  of  dreams  which  he  himself 
has  approved  of  :  "  And  the  normal  dream  raises  similar 
questions.  Why  do  we  not  always  dream  of  memory  im- 
pressions from  the  preceding  days,  instead  of  going  back  to 
the  almost  forgotten  past  lying  far  behind  us  without  any 
perceptible  reason  ?  Why  in  a  dream  does  consciousness  so 
often  revive  the  impression  of  indifferent  memory  pictures 
while  the  cerebral  cells  bearing  the  most  sensitive  records  of 
experience  remain  for  the  most  part  inert  and  numb,  unless  an 
acute  revival  during  the  waking  state  has  shortly  before  excited 
them  ?  " 

We  can  readily  understand  how  the  strange  preference 
of  the  dream  memory  for  the  indifferent  and  hence  the 
unnoticed  details  of  daily  experience  must  usually  lead  us 
to  overlook  altogether  the  dependence  of  the  dream  on 
the  waking  state,  or  at  least  make  it  difficult  to  prove  this 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM        15 

dependence  in  any  individual  case.  It  thus  happened  that  in 
the  statistical  treatment  of  her  own  and  her  friend's  dreams, 
Miss  Whiton  Calkins  12  found  11  per  cent,  of  the  entire  number 
that  showed  no  relation  to  the  waking  state.  Hildebrandt 
was  certainly  correct  in  his  assertion  that  all  our  dream 
pictures  could  be  genetically  explained  if  we  devoted  enough 
time  and  material  to  the  tracing  of  their  origin.  To  be  sure, 
he  calls  this  "  a  most  tedious  and  thankless  job."  For  it 
would  at  most  lead  us  to  ferret  out  all  kinds  of  quite  worthless 
psychic  material  from  the  most  remote  corners  of  the  memory 
chamber,  and  to  bring  to  light  some  very  indifferent  moments 
from  the  remote  past  which  were  perhaps  buried  the  next 
hour  after  their  appearance."  I  must,  however,  express  my 
regret  that  this  discerning  author  refrained  from  following 
the  road  whose  beginning  looked  so  unpromising  ;  it  would 
have  led  him  directly  to  the  centre  of  the  dream  problem. 

The  behaviour  of  the  memory  in  dreams  is  surely  most 
significant  for  every  theory  of  memory  in  general.  It  teaches 
us  that  "  nothing  which  we  have  once  psychically  possessed 
is  ever  entirely  lost  "  (Scholz  59)  ;  or  as  Delboeuf  puts  it,  "  que 
toute  impression  meme  la  plus  insignifiante,  laisse  une  trace 
inalterable,  indefiniment  susceptible  de  reparaitre  au  jour,"  a 
conclusion  to  which  we  are  urged  by  so  many  of  the  other 
pathological  manifestations  of  the  psychic  life.  Let  us  now 
bear  in  mind  this  extraordinary  capability  of  the  memory  in 
the  dream,  in  order  to  perceive  vividly  the  contradictions  which 
must  be  advanced  in  certain  dream  theories  to  be  mentioned 
later,  when  they  endeavour  to  explain  the  absurdities  and 
incoherence  of  dreams  through  a  partial  forgetting  of  what 
we  have  known  during  the  day. 

One  might  even  think  of  reducing  the  phenomenon  of 
dreaming  to  that  of  memory,  and  of  regarding  the  dream  as  the 
manifestation  of  an  activity  of  reproduction  which  does  not 
rest  even  at  night,  and  which  is  an  end  in  itself.  Views  like 
those  expressed  by  Pilcz  51  would  corroborate  this,  according 
to  which  intimate  relations  are  demonstrable  between  the  time 
of  dreaming  and  the  contents  of  the  dream  from  the  fact 
that  the  impressions  reproduced  by  the  dream  in  sound  sleep 
belong  to  the  remotest  past  while  those  reproduced  towards 
morning  are  of  recent  origin.     But  such  a  conception  is  rendered 


improbable  from  the  outset  by  the  manner  of  the  dream's 
behaviour  towards  the  material  to  be  remembered.  Strümpell 66 
justly  calls  our  attention  to  the  fact  that  repetitions  of  ex- 
periences do  not  occur  in  the  dream.  To  be  sure  the  dream 
makes  an  effort  in  that  direction,  but  the  next  link  is  wanting, 
or  appears  in  changed  form,  or  it  is  replaced  by  something 
entirely  novel.  The  dream  shows  only  fragments  of  repro- 
duction ;  this  is  so  often  the  rule  that  it  admits  of  theoretical 
application.  Still  there  are  exceptions  in  which  the  dream 
repeats  an  episode  as  thoroughly  as  our  memory  would  in  its 
waking  state.  Delbceuf  tells  of  one  of  his  university  colleagues 
who  in  his  dream  repeated,  with  all  its  details,  a  dangerous 
wagon  ride  in  which  he  escaped  accident  as  if  by  miracle. 
Miss  Calkins  12  mentions  two  dreams,  the  contents  of  which 
exactly  reproduced  incidents  from  the  day  before,  and  I 
shall  later  take  occasion  to  report  an  example  which  came  to 
my  notice,  showing  a  childish  experience  which  returned  un- 
changed in  a  dream.* 

(c)  Dream  Stimuli  and  Dream  Sources. — What  is  meant 
by  dream  stimuli  and  dream  sources  may  be  explained  by 
referring  to  the  popular  saying,  "  Dreams  come  from  the 
stomach."  This  notion  conceals  a  theory  which  conceives 
the  dream  as  a  result  of  a  disturbance  of  sleep.  We  should 
not  have  dreamed  if  some  disturbing  element  had  not  arisen 
in  sleep,  and  the  dream  is  the  reaction  from  this  disturbance. 

The  discussion  of  the  exciting  causes  of  dreams  takes  up 
the  most  space  in  the  descriptions  of  the  authors.  That  this 
problem  could  appear  only  after  the  dream  had  become  an 
object  of  biological  investigation  is  self-evident.  The  ancients 
who  conceived  the  dream  as  a  divine  inspiration  had  no  need 
of  looking  for  its  exciting  source  ;  to  them  the  dream  resulted 
from  the  will  of  the  divine  or  demoniacal  powers,  and  its 
content  was  the  product  of  their  knowledge  or  intention. 
Science,  however,  soon  raised  the  question  whether  the  stimulus 
to  the  dream  is  always  the  same,  or  whether  it  might  be 
manifold,   and  thus  led  to  the  question  whether  the  causal 

*  From  subsequent  experience  I  am  able  to  state  that  it  is  not  at  all  rare 
to  find  in  dreams  repetitions  of  harmless  or  unimportant  occupations  of  the 
waking  state,  such  as  packing  trunks,  preparing  food,  work  in  the  kitchen,  &c, 
but  in  such  dreams  the  dreamer  himself  emphasizes  not  the  character  but  the 
reality  of  the  memory,  "  I  have  really  done  all  this  in  the  day  time." 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         17 

explanation  of  the  dream  belongs  to  psychology  or  rather  to 
physiology.  Most  authors  seem  to  assume  that  the  causes  of  the 
disturbance  of  sleep,  and  hence  the  sources  of  the  dream,  might  be 
of  various  natures,  and  that  physical  as  well  as  mental  irritations 
might  assume  the  role  of  dream  inciters.  Opinions  differ  greatly 
in  preferring  this  or  that  one  of  the  dream  sources,  in  ranking 
them,  and  indeed  as  to  their  importance  for  the  origin  of  dreams. 
Wherever  the  enumeration  of  dream  sources  is  complete 
we  ultimately  find  four  forms,  which  are  also  utilised  for  the 
division  of  dreams  : — 

I.  External  (objective)  sensory  stimuli. 
II.  Internal  (subjective)  sensory  stimuli. 

III.  Internal  (organic)  physical  excitations. 

IV.  Purely  psychical  exciting  sources. 

I.  The  External  Sensory  Stimuli. — The  younger  Strümpell, 
son  of  the  philosopher  whose  writings  on  the  subject  have 
already  more  than  once  served  us  as  a  guide  in  the  problem 
of  dreams,  has,  as  is  well  known,  reported  his  observations  on 
a  patient  who  was  afflicted  with  general  anaesthesia  of  the 
skin  and  with  paralysis  of  several  of  the  higher  sensory  organs. 
This  man  merged  into  sleep  when  his  few  remaining  sensory 
paths  from  the  outer  world  were  shut  off.  When  we  wish  to 
sleep  we  are  wont  to  strive  for  a  situation  resembling  the 
one  in  StrümpelTs  experiment.  We  close  the  most  important 
sensory  paths,  the  eyes,  and  we  endeavour  to  keep  away  from 
the  other  senses  every  stimulus  and  every  change  of  the 
stimuli  acting  upon  them.  We  then  fall  asleep,  although  we 
are  never  perfectly  successful  in  our  preparations.  We  can 
neither  keep  the  stimuli  away  from  the  sensory  organs 
altogether,  nor  can  we  fully  extinguish  the  irritability  of  the 
sensory  organs.  That  we  may  at  any  time  be  awakened  by 
stronger  stimuli  should  prove  to  us  "  that  the  mind  has  re- 
mained in  constant  communication  with  the  material  world 
even  during  sleep."  The  sensory  stimuli  which  reach  us  during 
sleep  may  easily  become  the  source  of  dreams. 

There  are  a  great  many  stimuli  of  such  nature,  ranging 
from  those  that  are  unavoidable,  being  brought  on  by  the 
sleeping  state  or  at  least  occasionally  induced  by  it,  to  the 
accidental  waking  stimuli  which  are  adapted  or  calculated 
to  put  an  end  to  sleep.     Thus  a  strong  light  may  force  itself 



into  the  eyes,  a  noise  may  become  perceptible,  or  some  odori- 
ferous matter  may  irritate  the  mucous  membrane  of  the  nose. 
In  the  spontaneous  movements  of  sleep  we  may  lay  bare  parts 
of  the  body  and  thus  expose  them  to  a  sensation  of  cold,  or 
through  change  of  position  we  may  produce  sensations  of 
pressure  and  touch.  A  fly  may  bite  us,  or  a  slight  accident  at 
night  may  simultaneously  attack  more  than  one  sense.  Ob- 
servers have  called  attention  to  a  whole  series  of  dreams  in 
which  the  stimulus  verified  on  waking,  and  a  part  of  the 
dream  content  corresponded  to  such  a  degree  that  the  stimulus 
could  be  recognised  as  the  source  of  the  dream. 

I  shall  here  cite  a  number  of  such  dreams  collected  by 
Jessen  36  (p.  527),  traceable  to  more  or  less  accidental  objective 
sensory  stimuli.  "  Every  indistinctly  perceived  noise  gives 
rise  to  corresponding  dream  pictures ;  the  rolling  of  thunder 
takes  us  into  the  thick  of  battle,  the  crowing  of  a  cock  may  be 
transformed  into  human  shrieks  of  terror,  and  the  creaking  of  a 
door  may  conjure  up  dreams  of  burglars  breaking  into  the 
house.  When  one  of  our  blankets  slips  off  at  night  we  may 
dream  that  we  are  walking  about  naked  or  falling  into  the 
water.  If  we  lie  diagonally  across  the  bed  with  our  feet 
extending  beyond  the  edge,  we  may  dream  of  standing  on 
the  brink  of  a  terrifying  precipice,  or  of  falling  from  a  steep 
height.  Should  our  head  accidentally  get  under  the  pillow 
we  may  then  imagine  a  big  rock  hanging  over  us  and  about  to 
crush  us  under  its  weight.  Accumulation  of  semen  produces 
voluptuous  dreams,  and  local  pain  the  idea  of  suffering  ill 
treatment,  of  hostile  attacks,  or  of  accidental  bodily  injuries." 

"  Meier  (Versuch  einer  Erklärung  des  Nachtwandeins,  Halle, 
1758,  p.  33),  once  dreamed  of  being  assaulted  by  several 
persons  who  threw  him  flat  on  the  ground  and  drove  a  stake 
into  the  ground  between  his  big  and  second  toes.  While 
imagining  this  in  his  dream  he  suddenly  awoke  and  felt  a  blade 
of  straw  sticking  between  his  toes.  The  same  author,  accord- 
ing to  Hemmings  (Von  den  Traumen  und  Nachtwandeln, 
Weimar,  1784,  p.  258)  dreamed  on  another  occasion  that  he 
was  being  hanged  when  his  shirt  was  pinned  somewhat  tight 
around  his  neck.  Hauffbauer  dreamed  in  his  youth  of  having 
fallen  from  a  high  wall  and  found  upon  waking  that  the  bed- 
stead had  come  apart,  and  that  he  had  actually  fallen  to  the 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM        19 

floor.  .  .  .  Gregory  relates  that  he  once  applied  a  hot-water 
bottle  to  his  feet,  and  dreamed  of  taking  a  trip  to  the  summit 
of  Mount  Mtna,  where  he  found  the  heat  on  the  ground  almost 
unbearable.  After  having  applied  a  blistering  plaster  to  his 
head,  a  second  man  dreamed  of  being  scalped  by  Indians  ;  a 
third,  whose  shirt  was  damp,  dreamed  of  being  dragged  through 
a  stream.  An  attack  of  gout  caused  the  patient  to  believe 
that  he  was  in  the  hands  of  the  Inquisition,  and  suffering  pains 
of  torture  (Macnish)." 

The  argument  based  upon  the  resemblance  between 
stimulus  and  dream  content  is  reinforced  if  through  a  sys- 
tematic induction  of  stimuli  we  succeed  in  producing  dreams 
corresponding  to  the  stimuli.  According  -to  Macnish  such 
experiments  have  already  been  made  by  Giron  de  Buzareingues. 
"  He  left  his  knee  exposed  and  dreamed  of  travelling  in  a 
mail  coach  at  night.  He  remarked  in  this  connection  that 
travellers  would  well  know  how  cold  the  knees  become  in  a 
coach  at  night.  Another  time  he  left  the  back  of  his  head 
uncovered,  and  dreamed  of  taking  part  in  a  religious  ceremony 
in  the  open  air.  In  the  country  where  he  lived  it  was  customary 
to  keep  the  head  always  covered  except  on  such  occasions." 

Maury  48  reports  new  observations  on  dreams  produced  in 
himself.     (A  number  of  other  attempts  produced  no  results.) 

1.  He  was  tickled  with  a  feather  on  his  lips  and  on  the  tip 
of  his  nose.  He  dreamed  of  awful  torture,  viz.  that  a  mask 
of  pitch  was  stuck  to  his  face  and  then  forcibly  torn  off, 
taking  the  skin  with  it. 

2.  Scissors  were  sharpened  on  pincers.  He  heard  bells 
ringing,  then  sounds  of  alarm  which  took  him  back  to  the 
June  days  of  1848. 

3.  Cologne  water  was  put  on  his  nose.  He  found  himself 
in  Cairo  in  the  shop  of  John  Maria  Farina.  This  was  followed 
by  mad  adventures  which  he  was  unable  to  reproduce. 

4.  His  neck  was  lightly  pinched.  He  dreamed  that  a 
blistering  plaster  was  put  on  him,  and  thought  of  a  doctor 
who  treated  him  in  his  childhood. 

5.  A  hot  iron  was  brought  near  his  face.  He  dreamed 
that  chauffeurs  *  broke  into  the  house  and  forced  the  occupants 

*  Cliauffeurs  were  bands  of  robbers  in  the  Vendee  who  resorted  to  this 
form  of  torture. 


to  give  up  their  money  by  sticking  their  feet  into  burning 
coals.  The  Duchess  of  Abrantes,  whose  secretary  he  imagined 
himself  in  the  dream,  then  entered. 

6.  A  drop  of  water  was  let  fall  on  his  forehead.  He 
imagined  himself  in  Italy  perspiring  heavily  and  drinking 
white  wine  of  Orvieto. 

7.  When  a  burning  candle  was  repeatedly  focussed  on  him 
through  red  paper,  he  dreamed  of  the  weather,  of  heat,  and  of  a 
storm  at  sea  which  he  once  experienced  in  the  English  Channel. 

D'Hervey,34  Weygandt,75  and  others  have  made  other 
attempts  to  produce  dreams  experimentally. 

Many  have  observed  the  striking  skill  of  the  dream  in 
interweaving  into  its  structure  sudden  impressions  from  the 
outer  world  in  such  a  manner  as  to  present  a  gradually  pre- 
pared and  initiated  catastrophe  (Hildebrandt) 35.  "  In 
former  years,"  this  author  relates,  "  I  occasionally  made  use 
of  an  alarm  clock  in  order  to  wake  regularly  at  a  certain 
hour  in  the  morning.  It  probably  happened  hundreds  of 
times  that  the  sound  of  this  instrument  fitted  into  an  ap- 
parently very  long  and  connected  dream,  as  if  the  entire 
dream  had  been  especially  designed  for  it,  as  if  it  found  in 
this  sound  its  appropriate  and  logically  indispensable  point, 
its  inevitable  issue." 

I  shall  cite  three  of  these  alarm-clock  dreams  for  another 

Volkelt  (p.  68)  relates  :  "  A  composer  once  dreamed  that 
he  was  teaching  school,  and  was  just  explaining  something  to 
his  pupils.  He  had  almost  finished  when  he  turned  to  one 
of  the  boys  with  the  question  :  '  Did  you  understand  me  ?  ' 
The  boy  cried  out  like  one  possessed  '  Ya.'  Annoyed  at  this, 
he  reprimanded  him  for  shouting.  But  now  the  entire  class 
was  screaming  '  Orya,'  then  '  Euryo,'  and  finally  '  Feueryo.' 
He  was  now  aroused  by  an  actual  alarm  of  fire  in  the  street." 

Gamier  (Traitd  des  Facultas  de  VAme,  1865),  reported  by 
Radestock,54  relates  that  Napoleon  I.,  while  sleeping  in  a 
carriage,  was  awakened  from  a  dream  by  an  explosion  which 
brought  back  to  him  the  crossing  of  the  Tagliamento  and  the 
bombarding  of  the  Austrians,  so  that  he  started  up  crying, 
"  We  are  undermined  !  " 

The  following  dream  of   Maury  48  has  become  celebrated. 

LITERATURE    OF   THE    DREAM         21 

He  was  sick,  and  remained  in  bed  ;  his  mother  sat  beside 
him.  He  then  dreamed  of  the  reign  of  terror  at  the  time  of 
the  Revolution.  He  took  part  in  terrible  scenes  of  murder, 
and  finally  he  himself  was  summoned  before  the  Tribunal. 
There  he  saw  Robespierre,  Marat,  Fouquier-Tinville,  and  all 
the  sorry  heroes  of  that  cruel  epoch  ;  he  had  to  give  an  account 
of  himself,  and,  after  all  sort  of  incidents  which  did  not  fix 
themselves  in  his  memory,  he  was  sentenced  to  death.  Accom- 
panied by  an  enormous  crowd,  he  was  led  to  the  place  of 
execution.  He  mounted  the  scaffold,  the  executioner  tied  him 
to  the  board,  it  tipped,  and  the  knife  of  the  guillotine  fell.  He 
felt  his  head  severed  from  the  trunk,  and  awakened  in  terrible 
anxiety,  only  to  find  that  the  top  piece  of  the  bed  had  fallen 
down,  and  had  actually  struck  his  cervical  vertebra  in  the 
same  manner  as  the  knife  of  a  guillotine. 

This  dream  gave  rise  to  an  interesting  discussion  introduced 
by  Le  Lorrain 45  and  Egger 20  in  the  Revue  Philosophique. 
The  question  was  whether,  and  how,  it  was  possible  for  the 
dreamer  to  crowd  together  an  amount  of  dream  content 
apparently  so  large  in  the  short  space  of  time  elapsing  between 
the  perception  of  the  waking  stimulus  and  the  awakening. 

Examples  of  this  nature  make  it  appear  that  the  objective 
stimuli  during  sleep  are  the  most  firmly  established  of  all 
the  dream  sources  ;  indeed,  it  is  the  only  stimulus  which  plays 
any  part  in  the  layman's  knowledge.  If  we  ask  an  educated 
person,  who  is,  however,  unacquainted  with  the  literature  of 
dreams,  how  dreams  originate,  he  is  sure  to  answer  by  referring 
to  a  case  familiar  to  him  in  which  a  dream  has  been  explained 
after  waking  by  a  recognised  objective  stimulus.  Scientific 
investigation  cannot,  however,  stop  here,  but  is  incited  to 
further  research  by  the  observation  that  the  stimulus  in- 
fluencing the  senses  during  sleep  does  not  appear  in  the  dream 
at  all  in  its  true  form,  but  is  replaced  by  some  other  presenta- 
tion which  is  in  some  way  related  to  it.  But  the  relation 
existing  between  the  stimulus  and  the  result  of  the  dream  is, 
according  to  Maury,47  "  une  affmite  quelconque  mais  qui  n'est 
pas  unique  et  exclusive  "  (p.  72).  If  we  read,  e.g.,  three  of 
Hildebrandt's  "  Alarm  Clock  Dreams,"  we  will  then  have  to 
inquire  why  the  same  stimulus  evoked  so  many  different 
results,  and  why  just  these  results  and  no  others. 


(P.  37).  "  I  am  taking  a  walk  on  a  beautiful  spring  morning. 
I  saunter  through  the  green  fields  to  a  neighbouring  village, 
where  I  see  the  natives  going  to  church  in  great  numbers, 
wearing  their  holiday  attire  and  carrying  their  hymn-books 
under  their  arms.  I  remember  that  it  is  Sunday,  and  that 
the  morning  service  will  soon  begin.  I  decide  to  attend  it, 
but  as  I  am  somewhat  overheated  I  also  decide  to  cool  off 
in  the  cemetery  surrounding  the  church.  While  reading  the 
various  epitaphs,  I  hear  the  sexton  ascend  the  tower  and  see  the 
small  village  bell  in  the  cupola  which  is  about  to  give  signal  for 
the  beginning  of  the  devotions.  For  another  short  while  it 
hangs  motionless,  then  it  begins  to  swing,  and  suddenly  its 
notes  resound  so  clearly  and  penetratingly  that  my  sleep 
comes  to  an  end.  But  the  sound  of  bells  comes  from  the 
alarm  clock." 

"  A  second  combination.  It  is  a  clear  day,  the  streets  are 
covered  with  deep  snow.  I  have  promised  to  take  part  in  a 
sleigh-ride,  but  have  had  to  wait  for  some  time  before  it  was 
announced  that  the  sleigh  is  in  front  of  my  house.  The 
preparations  for  getting  into  the  sleigh  are  now  made.  I  put 
on  my  furs  and  adjust  my  muff,  and  at  last  I  am  in  my  place. 
But  the  departure  is  still  delayed,  until  the  reins  give  the 
impatient  horses  the  perceptible  sign.  They  start,  and  the 
sleigh  bells,  now  forcibly  shaken,  begin  their  familiar  janizary 
music  with  a  force  that  instantly  tears  the  gossamer  of  my 
dream.     Again  it  is  only  the  shrill  sound  of  my  alarm  clock." 

Still  a  third  example.  "  I  see  the  kitchen-maid  walk  along 
the  corridor  to  the  dining-room  with  several  dozen  plates 
piled  up.  The  porcelain  column  in  her  arms  seems  to  me  to 
be  in  danger  of  losing  its  equilibrium.  '  Take  care,'  I  ex- 
claim, '  you  will  drop  the  whole  pile.'  The  usual  retort  is 
naturally  not  wanting — that  she  is  used  to  such  things.  Mean- 
while I  continue  to  follow  her  with  my  worried  glance,  and 
behold  !  at  the  door-step  the  fragile  dishes  fall,  tumble,  and 
roll  across  the  floor  in  hundreds  of  pieces.  But  I  soon  notice 
that  the  noise  continuing  endlessly  is  not  really  a  rattling  but 
a  true  ringing,  and  with  this  ringing  the  dreamer  now  becomes 
aware  that  the  alarm  clock  has  done  its  duty." 

The  question  why  the  dreaming  mind  misjudges  the  nature 
of    the    objective    sensory    stimulus    has    been    answered    by 

LITERATURE    OF   THE   DREAM         23 

Strümpell,66  and  almost  identically  by  Wundt,76  to  the  effect 
that  the  reaction  of  the  mind  to  the  attacking  stimuli  in  sleep 
is  determined  by  the  formation  of  illusions.  A  sensory  im- 
pression is  recognised  by  us  and  correctly  interpreted,  i.e.  it 
is  classed  with  the  memory  group  to  which  it  belongs  according 
to  all  previous  experience,  if  the  impression  is  strong,  clear, 
and  long  enough,  and  if  we  have  the  necessary  time  at  our 
disposal  for  this  reflection.  If  these  conditions  are  not  fulfilled, 
we  mistake  the  objects  which  give  rise  to  the  impression,  and 
on  its  basis  we  form  an  illusion.  "  If  one  takes  a  walk  in  an 
open  field  and  perceives  indistinctly  a  distant  object,  it  may 
happen  that  he  will  at  first  take  it  for  a  horse."  On  closer 
inspection  the  image  of  a  cow  resting  may  obtrude  itself,  and 
the  presentation  may  finally  resolve  itself  with  certainty  into 
a  group  of  people  sitting.  The  impressions  which  the  mind 
receives  during  sleep  through  outer  stimuli  are  of  a  similar 
indistinct  nature ;  they  give  rise  to  illusions  because  the 
impression  evokes  a  greater  or  lesser  number  of  memory 
pictures  through  which  the  impression  receives  its  psychic 
value.  In  which  of  the  many  spheres  of  memory  to  be  taken 
into  consideration  the  corresponding  pictures  are  aroused, 
and  which  of  the  possible  association  connections  thereby 
come  into  force,  this,  even  according  to  Strümpell,  remains 
indeterminable,  and  is  left,  as  it  were,  to  the  caprice  of  the 
psychic  life. 

We  may  here  take  our  choice.  We  may  admit  that  the 
laws  of  the  dream  formation  cannot  really  be  traced  any 
further,  and  therefore  refrain  from  asking  whether  or  not  the 
interpretation  of  the  illusion  evoked  by  the  sensory  impression 
depends  upon  still  other  conditions  ;  or  we  may  suppose  that 
the  objective  sensory  stimulus  encroaching  upon  sleep  plays 
only  a  modest  part  as  a  dream  source,  and  that  other  factors 
determine  the  choice  of  the  memory  picture  to  be  evoked. 
Indeed,  on  carefully  examining  Maury's  experimentally  produced 
dreams,  which  I  have  purposely  reported  in  detaü,  one  is  apt 
to  think  that  the  experiment  really  explains  the  origin  of  only 
one  of  the  dream  elements,  and  that  the  rest  of  the  dream 
content  appears  in  fact  too  independent,  too  much  determined 
in  detail,  to  be  explained  by  the  one  demand,  viz.  that  it  must 
agree  with  the    element  experimentally  introduced.     Indeed 


one  even  begins  to  doubt  the  illusion  theory,  and  the  power  of 
the  objective  impression  to  form  the  dream,  when  one  learns 
that  this  impression  at  times  experiences  the  most  peculiar 
and  far-fetched  interpretations  during  the  sleeping  state. 
Thus  B.  M.  Simon  63  tells  of  a  dream  in  which  he  saw  persons 
of  gigantic  stature  *  seated  at  a  table,  and  heard  distinctly  the 
awful  rattling  produced  by  the  impact  of  their  jaws  while 
chewing.  On  waking  he  heard  the  clacking  of  the  hoofs  of  a 
horse  galloping  past  his  window.  If  the  noise  of  the  horse's 
hoofs  had  recalled  ideas  from  the  memory  sphere  of  "  Gulliver's 
Travels,"  the  sojourn  with  the  giants  of  Brobdingnag  and  the 
virtuous  horse-creatures — as  I  should  perhaps  interpret  it 
without  any  assistance  on  the  author's  part — should  not  the 
choice  of  a  memory  sphere  so  uncommon  for  the  stimulus  have 
some  further  illumination  from  other  motives  ? 

II.  Internal  {Subjective)  Sensory  Stimuli. — Notwithstanding 
all  objections  to  the  contrary,  we  must  admit  that  the  role  of 
the  objective  sensory  stimuli  as  a  producer  of  dreams  has  been 
indisputably  established,  and  if  these  stimuli  seem  perhaps 
insufficient  in  their  nature  and  frequency  to  explain  all  dream 
pictures,  we  are  then  directed  to  look  for  other  dream  sources 
acting  in  an  analogous  manner.  I  do  not  know  where  the 
idea  originated  that  along  with  the  outer  sensory  stimuli  the 
inner  (subjective)  stimuli  should  also  be  considered,  but  as  a 
matter  of  fact  this  is  done  more  or  less  fully  in  all  the  more 
recent  descriptions  of  the  etiology  of  dreams.  "  An  important 
part  is  played  in  dream  illusions,"  says  Wundt 36  (p.  363), 
"  by  those  subjective  sensations  of  seeing  and  hearing  which 
are  familiar  to  us  in  the  waking  state  as  a  luminous  chaos  in 
the  dark  field  of  vision,  ringing,  buzzing,  &c,  of  the  ears,  and 
especially  irritation  of  the  retina.  This  explains  the  remark- 
able tendency  of  the  dream  to  delude  the  eyes  with  numbers  of 
similar  or  identical  objects.  Thus  we  see  spread  before  our  eyes 
numberless  birds,  butterflies,  fishes,  coloured  beads,  flowers,  &c. 
Here  the  luminous  dust  in  the  dark  field  of  vision  has  taken  on 
phantastic  figures,  and  the  many  luminous  points  of  which  it 
consists  are  embodied  by  the  dream  in  as  many  single  pictures, 
which  are  looked  upon  as  moving  objects  owing  to  the  mobility 

*  Gigantic  persons  in  a  dream  justify  the  assumption  that  it  deals  with 
a  scene  from  the  dreamer's  childhood. 

LITERATURE    OF   THE   DREAM         25 

of  the  luminous  chaos.  This  is  also  the  root  of  the  great 
fondness  of  the  dream  for  the  most  complex  animal  figures, 
the  multiplicity  of  forms  readily  following  the  form  of  the 
subjective  light  pictures." 

The  subjective  sensory  stimuli  as  a  source  of  the  dream 
have  the  obvious  advantage  that  unlike  the  objective  stimuli 
they  are  independent  of  external  accidents.  They  are,  so  to 
speak,  at  the  disposal  of  the  explanation  as  often  as  it  needs 
them.  They  are,  however,  in  so  far  inferior  to  the  objective 
sensory  stimuli  that  the  role  of  dream  inciter,  which  observa- 
tion and  experiment  have  proven  for  the  latter,  can  be  verified 
in  their  case  only  with  difficulty  or  not  at  all.  The  main  proof 
for  the  dream-inciting  power  of  subjective  sensory  excitements 
is  offered  by  the  so-called  hypnogogic  hallucinations,  which 
have  been  described  by  John  Müller  as  "  phantastic  visual 
manifestations."  They  are  those  very  vivid  and  changeable 
pictures  which  occur  regularly  in  many  people  during  the 
period  of  falling  asleep,  and  which  may  remain  for  awhile  even 
after  the  eyes  have  been  opened.  Maury,48  who  was  consider- 
ably troubled  by  them,  subjected  them  to  a  thorough  study, 
and  maintained  that  they  are  related  to  or  rather  identical 
with  dream  pictures — this  has  already  been  asserted  by  John 
Müller.  Maury  states  that  a  certain  psychic  passivity  is 
necessary  for  their  origin  ;  it  requires  a  relaxation  of  the  tension 
of  attention  (p.  59).  But  in  any  ordinary  disposition  a  hypno- 
gogic hallucination  may  be  produced  by  merging  for  a  second 
into  such  lethargy,  after  which  one  perhaps  awakens  until  this 
oft-repeated  process  terminates  in  sleep.  According  to  Maury, 
if  one  awakens  shortly  thereafter,  it  is  often  possible  to  demon- 
strate the  same  pictures  in  the  dream  which  one  has  perceived 
as  hypnogogic  hallucinations  before  falling  asleep  (p.  134). 
Thus  it  once  happened  to  Maury  with  a  group  of  pictures  of 
grotesque  figures,  with  distorted  features  and  strange  head- 
dresses, which  obtruded  themselves  upon  him  with  incredible 
importunity  during  the  period  of  falling  asleep,  and  which 
he  recalled  having  dreamed  upon  awakening.  On  another 
occasion,  while  suffering  from  hunger,  because  he  kept  himself 
on  a  rather  strict  diet,  he  saw  hypnogogically  a  plate  and  a 
hand  armed  with  a  fork  taking  some  food  from  the  plate.  In 
his  dream  he  f  ound  himself  at  a  table  abundantly  supplied  with 


food,  and  heard  the  rattle  made  by  the  diners  with  their  forks. 
On  still  another  occasion,  after  falling  asleep  with  irritated 
and  painful  eyes,  he  had  the  hypnogogic  hallucination  of 
seeing  microscopically  small  characters  which  he  was  forced 
to  decipher  one  by  one  with  great  exertion ;  having  been 
awakened  from  his  sleep  an  hour  later,  he  recalled  a  dream 
in  which  there  was  an  open  book  with  very  small  letters,  which 
he  was  obliged  to  read  through  with  laborious  effort. 

Just  as  in  the  case  of  these  pictures,  auditory  hallucinations 
of  words,  names,  &c,  may  also  appear  hypnogogically,  and 
then  repeat  themselves  in  the  dream,  like  an  overture  announc- 
ing the  principal  motive  of  the  opera  which  is  to  follow. 

A  more  recent  observer  of  hypnogogic  hallucinations, 
G.  Trumbull  Ladd,40  takes  the  same  path  pursued  by  John 
Müller  and  Maury.  By  dint  of  practice  he  succeeded  in 
acquiring  the  faculty  of  suddenly  arousing  himself,  without 
opening  his  eyes,  two  to  five  minutes  after  having  gradually 
fallen  asleep,  which  gave  him  opportunity  to  compare  the 
sensations  of  the  retina  just  vanishing  with  the  dream  pictures 
remaining  in  his  memory.  He  assures  us  that  an  intimate 
relation  between  the  two  can  always  be  recognised,  in  the 
sense  that  the  luminous  dots  and  lines  of  the  spontaneous  light 
of  the  retina  produced,  so  to  speak,  the  sketched  outline  or 
scheme  for  the  psychically  perceived  dream  figures.  A  dream, 
e.g.,  in  which  he  saw  in  front  of  him  clearly  printed  lines  which 
he  read  and  studied,  corresponded  to  an  arrangement  of  the 
luminous  dots  and  lines  in  the  retina  in  parallel  lines,  or,  to 
express  it  in  his  own  words  :  "  The  clearly  printed  page, 
which  he  was  reading  in  the  dream,  resolved  itself  into  an 
object  which  appeared  to  his  waking  perception  like  part  of  an 
actual  printed  sheet  looked  at  through  a  little  hole  in  a  piece 
of  paper,  from  too  great  a  distance  to  be  made  out  distinctly." 
Without  in  any  way  under-estimating  the  central  part  of  the 
phenomenon,  Ladd  believes  that  hardly  any  visual  dream 
occurs  in  our  minds  that  is  not  based  on  material  furnished 
by  this  inner  condition  of  stimulation  in  the  retina.  This  is 
particularly  true  of  dreams  occurring  shortly  after  falling  asleep 
in  a  dark  room,  while  dreams  occurring  in  the  morning  near  the 
period  of  awakening  receive  their  stimulation  from  the  ob- 
jective fight  penetrating  the  eye  from  the  lightened  room. 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         27 

The  shifting  and  endlessly  variable  character  of  the  spon- 
taneous luminous  excitation  of  the  retina  corresponds  exactly 
to  the  fitful  succession  of  pictures  presented  to  us  in  our 
dreams.  If  we  attach  any  importance  to  Ladd's  observations, 
we  cannot  underrate  the  productiveness  of  this  subjective 
source  of  excitation  for  the  dream  ;  for  visual  pictures  ap- 
parently form  the  principal  constituent  of  our  dreams.  The 
share  furnished  from  the  spheres  of  the  other  senses,  beside 
the  sense  of  hearing,  is  more  insignificant  and  inconstant. 

III.  Internal  {Organic)  Physical  Excitation. — If  we  are  dis- 
posed to  seek  dream  sources  not  outside,  but  inside,  the 
organism,  we  must  remember  that  almost  all  our  internal 
organs,  which  in  their  healthy  state  hardly  remind  us  of  their 
existence,  may,  in  states  of  excitation — as  we  call  them — or 
in  disease,  become  for  us  a  source  of  the  most  painful  sensa- 
tions, which  must  be  put  on  an  equality  with  the  external 
excitants  of  the  pain  and  sensory  stimuli.  It  is  on  the  strength 
of  very  old  experience  that,  e.g.,  Strümpell 66  declares  that 
"  during  sleep  the  mind  becomes  far  more  deeply  and  broadly 
conscious  of  its  connection  with  the  body  than  in  the  waking 
state,  and  it  is  compelled  to  receive  and  be  influenced  by 
stimulating  impressions  originating  in  parts  and  changes  of  the 
body  of  which  it  is  unconscious  in  the  waking  state."  Even 
Aristotle  x  declares  it  quite  possible  that  the  dream  should 
draw  our  attention  to  incipient  morbid  conditions  which  we 
have  not  noticed  at  all  in  the  waking  state  (owing  to  the 
exaggeration  given  by  the  dream  to  the  impressions ;  and 
some  medical  authors,  who  were  certainly  far  from  believing 
in  any  prophetic  power  of  the  dream,  have  admitted  this 
significance  of  the  dream  at  least  for  the  foretelling  of  disease. 
(Compare  M.  Simon,  p.  31,  and  many  older  authors.) 

Even  in  our  times  there  seems  to  be  no  lack  of  authenticated 
examples  of  such  diagnostic  performances  on  the  part  of  the 
dream.  Thus  Tissie  68  cites  from  Artigues  (Essai  sur  la  Valeur 
s6m6iologique  des  Reves),  the  history  of  a  woman  of  forty-three 
years,  who,  during  several  years  of  apparently  perfect  health, 
was  troubled  with  anxiety  dreams,  and  in  whom  medical 
examination  later  disclosed  an  incipient  affection  of  the  heart 
to  which  she  soon  succumbed. 

Serious  disturbances  of  the  internal  organs  apparently  act 


as  inciters  of  dreams  in  a  considerable  number  of  persons. 
Attention  is  quite  generally  called  to  the  frequency  of  anxiety 
dreams  in  the  diseases  of  the  heart  and  lungs  ;  indeed  this 
relation  of  the  dream  life  is  placed  so  conspicuously  in  the 
foreground  by  many  authors  that  I  shall  here  content  myself 
with  a  mere  reference  to  the  literature.  (Radestock,54  Spitta,64 
Maury,  M.  Simon,  Tissie.)  Tissie  even  assumes  that  the 
diseased  organs  impress  upon  the  dream  content  their  char- 
acteristic features.  The  dreams  of  persons  suffering  from 
diseases  of  the  heart  are  generally  very  brief  and  terminate 
in  a  terrified  awakening  ;  the  situation  of  death  under  terrible 
circumstances  almost  always  plays  a  part  in  their  content. 
Those  suffering  from  diseases  of  the  lungs  dream  of  suffocation, 
of  being  crowded,  and  of  flight,  and  a  great  many  of  them  are 
subject  to  the  well-known  nightmare,  which,  by  the  way, 
Boerner  has  succeeded  in  producing  experimentally  by  lying 
on  the  face  and  closing  up  the  openings  of  the  respiratory 
organs.  In  digestive  disturbances  the  dream  contains  ideas 
from  the  sphere  of  enjoyment  and  disgust.  Finally,  the 
influence  of  sexual  excitement  on  the  dream  content  is  per- 
ceptible enough  in  every  one's  experience,  and  lends  the  strongest 
support  to  the  entire  theory  of  the  dream  excitation  through 
organic  sensation. 

Moreover,  as  we  go  through  the  literature  of  the  dream, 
it  becomes  quite  obvious  that  some  of  the  authors  (Maury,48 
Weygandt 75)  have  been  led  to  the  study  of  dream  problems 
by  the  influence  of  their  own  pathological  state  on  the  content 
of  their  dreams. 

The  addition  to  dream  sources  from  these  undoubtedly 
established  facts  is,  however,  not  as  important  as  one  might 
be  led  to  suppose  ;  for  the  dream  is  a  phenomenon  which 
occurs  in  healthy  persons — perhaps  in  all  persons,  and  every 
night — and  a  pathological  state  of  the  organs  is  apparently 
not  one  of  its  indispensable  conditions.  For  us,  however, 
the  question  is  not  whence  particular  dreams  originate,  but 
what  may  be  the  exciting  source  for  the  ordinary  dreams  of 
normal  persons. 

But  we  need  go  only  a  step  further  to  find  a  dream  source 
which  is  more  prolific  than  any  of  those  mentioned  above, 
which  indeed  promises  to  be  inexhaustible  in  every  case.     If 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         29 

it  is  established  that  the  bodily  organs  become  in  sickness 
an  exciting  source  of  dreams,  and  if  we  admit  that  the  mind, 
diverted  during  sleep  from  the  outer  world,  can  devote  more 
attention  to  the  interior  of  the  body,  we  may  readily  assume 
that  the  organs  need  not  necessarily  become  diseased  in  order 
to  permit  stimuli,  which  in  some  way  or  other  grow  into 
dream  pictures,  to  reach  the  sleeping  mind.  What  in  the 
waking  state  we  broadly  perceive  as  general  sensation,  distin- 
guishable by  its  quality  alone,  to  which,  in  the  opinion  of  the 
physicians,  all  the  organic  systems  contribute  their  shares — 
this  general  sensation  at  night  attaining  powerful  efficiency 
and  becoming  active  with  its  individual  components — would 
naturally  furnish  the  most  powerful  as  well  as  the  most  common 
source  for  the  production  of  the  dream  presentations.  It  still 
remains,  however,  to  examine  according  to  what  rule  the 
organic  sensations  become  transformed  into  dream  presenta- 

The  theory  of  the  origin  of  dreams  just  stated  has  been  the 
favourite  with  all  medical  authors.  The  obscurity  which 
conceals  the  essence  of  our  being — the  "  moi  splanchnique,"  as 
Tissie  terms  it — from  our  knowledge  and  the  obscurity  of  the 
origin  of  the  dream  correspond  too  well  not  to  be  brought  into 
relation  with  each  other.  The  train  of  thought  which  makes 
organic  sensation  the  inciter  of  the  dream  has  besides  another 
attraction  for  the  physician,  inasmuch  as  it  favours  the  etio- 
logical union  of  the  dream  and  mental  diseases,  which  show  so 
many  agreements  in  their  manifestations,  for  alterations  in 
the  organic  sensations  and  excitations  emanating  from  the 
inner  organs  are  both  of  wide  significance  in  the  origin  of  the 
psychoses.  It  is  therefore  not  surprising  that  the  theory  of 
bodily  sensation  can  be  traced  to  more  than  one  originator 
who  has  propounded  it  independently. 

A  number  of  authors  have  been  influenced  by  the  train 
of  ideas  developed  by  the  philosopher  Schopenhauer  in  1851. 
Our  conception  of  the  universe  originates  through  the  fact 
that  our  intellect  recasts  the  impressions  coming  to  it  from 
without  in  the  moulds  of  time,  space,  and  causality.  The 
sensations  from  the  interior  of  the  organism,  proceeding  from 
the  sympathetic  nervous  system,  exert  in  the  day-time  an 
influence  on  our  mood  for  the  most  part  unconscious.     At 


night,  however,  when  the  overwhelming  influence  of  the 
day's  impressions  is  no  longer  felt,  the  impressions  pressing 
upward  from  the  interior  are  able  to  gain  attention — just  as 
in  the  night  we  hear  the  rippling  of  the  spring  that  was  rendered 
inaudible  by  the  noise  of  the  day.  In  what  other  way,  then, 
could  the  intellect  react  upon  these  stimuli  than  by  performing 
its  characteristic  function  ?  It  will  transform  the  stimuli 
into  figures,  filling  space  and  time,  which  move  at  the  beginning 
of  causality ;  and  thus  the  dream  originates.  Scherner,58 
and  after  him  Volkelt,72  attempted  to  penetrate  into  closer 
relations  between  physical  sensations  and  dream  pictures ; 
but  we  shall  reserve  the  discussion  of  these  attempts  for  the 
chapter  on  the  theory  of  the  dream. 

In  a  study  particularly  logical  in  its  development,  the 
psychiatrist  Krauss  39  found  the  origin  of  the  dream  as  well 
as  of  deliria  and  delusions  in  the  same  element,  viz.  the 
organically  determined  sensation.  According  to  this  author 
there  is  hardly  a  place  in  the  organism  which  might  not  become 
the  starting  point  of  a  dream  or  of  a  delusion.  Now  organically 
determined  sensations  "  may  be  divided  into  two  classes : 
(1)  those  of  the  total  feeling  (general  sensations),  (2)  specific 
sensations  which  are  inherent  in  the  principal  systems  of  the 
vegetative  organism,  which  may  be  divided  into  five  groups  : 
(a)  the  muscular,  (&)  the  pneumatic,  (c)  the  gastric,  (d)  the 
sexual,  (e)  the  peripheral  sensations  (p.  33  of  the  second  article)." 

The  origin  of  the  dream  picture  on  the  basis  of  the  physical 
sensations  is  conceived  by  Krauss  as  follows  :  The  awakened 
sensation  evokes  a  presentation  related  to  it  in  accordance 
with  some  law  of  association,  and  combines  with  this,  thus 
forming  an  organic  structure,  towards  which,  however,  con- 
sciousness does  not  maintain  its  normal  attitude.  For  it  does 
not  bestow  any  attention  on  the  sensation  itself,  but  concerns 
itself  entirely  with  the  accompanying  presentation  ;  this  is 
likewise  the  reason  why  the  state  of  affairs  in  question  should 
have  been  so  long  misunderstood  (p.  11,  &c).  Krauss  finds 
for  this  process  the  specific  term  of  "  transubstantiation  of  the 
feeling  into  dream  pictures  "  (p.  24). 

That  the  organic  bodily  sensations  exert  some  influence  on 
the  formation  of  the  dream  is  nowadays  almost  universally 
acknowledged,  but  the  question  as  to  the  law  underlying  the 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM        31 

relation  between  the  two  is  answered  in  various  ways  and 
often  in  obscure  terms.  On  the  basis  of  the  theory  of  bodily 
excitation  the  special  task  of  dream  interpretation  is  to  trace 
back  the  content  of  a  dream  to  the  causative  organic  stimulus, 
and  if  we  do  not  recognise  the  rules  of  interpretation  advanced 
by  Scherner,58  we  frequently  find  ourselves  confronted  with 
the  awkward  fact  that  the  organic  exciting  source  reveals 
itself  in  the  content  of  the  dream  only. 

A  certain  agreement,  however,  is  manifested  in  the  inter- 
pretation of  the  various  forms  of  dreams  which  have  been 
designated  as  "  typical "  because  they  recur  in  so  many  persons 
with  almost  the  same  contents.  Among  these  are  the  well- 
known  dreams  of  falling  from  heights,  of  the  falling  out  of 
teeth,  of  flying,  and  of  embarrassment  because  of  being  naked 
or  barely  clad.  This  last  dream  is  said  to  be  caused  simply 
by  the  perception  felt  in  sleep  that  one  has  thrown  off  the  bed- 
cover and  is  exposed.  The  dream  of  the  falling  out  of  teeth  is 
explained  by  "  dental  irritation,"  which  does  not,  however,  of 
necessity  imply  a  morbid  state  of  excitation  in  the  teeth. 
According  to  Strümpell,66  the  flying  dream  is  the  adequate 
picture  used  by  the  mind  to  interpret  the  sum  of  excitation 
emanating  from  the  rising  and  sinking  of  the  pulmonary  lobes 
after  the  cutaneous  sensation  of  the  thorax  has  been  reduced 
to  insensibility.  It  is  this  latter  circumstance  that  causes  a 
sensation  related  to  the  conception  of  flying.  Falling  from 
a  height  in  a  dream  is  said  to  have  its  cause  in  the  fact  that 
when  unconsciousness  of  the  sensation  of  cutaneous  pressure 
has  set  in,  either  an  arm  falls  away  from  the  body  or  a  flexed 
knee  is  suddenly  stretched  out,  causing  the  feeling  of  cutaneous 
pressure  to  return  to  consciousness,  and  the  transition  to 
consciousness  embodies  itself  psychically  as  a  dream  of  falling. 
(Strümpell,  p.  118).  The  weakness  of  these  plausible  attempts 
at  explanation  evidently  lies  in  the  fact  that  without  any 
further  elucidation  they  allow  this  or  that  group  of  organic 
sensations  to  disappear  from  psychic  perception  or  to  obtrude 
themselves  upon  it  until  the  constellation  favourable  for  the 
explanation  has  been  established.  I  shall,  however,  later 
have  occasion  to  recur  to  typical  dreams  and  to  their  origin. 

From  comparison  of  a  series  of  similar  dreams,  M.  Simon  63 
endeavoured  to  formulate  certain  rules  for  the  influence  of  the 


organic  sensations  on  the  determination  of  the  resulting  dream. 
He  says  (p.  34)  :  "  If  any  organic  apparatus,  which  during 
sleep  normally  participates  in  the  expression  of  an  affect,  for 
any  reason  merges  into  the  state  of  excitation  to  which  it  is 
usually  aroused  by  that  affect,  the  dream  thus  produced  will 
contain  presentations  which  fit  the  affect." 

Another  rule  reads  as  follows  (p.  35)  :  "  If  an  organic 
apparatus  is  in  a  state  of  activity,  excitation,  or  disturbance 
during  sleep,  the  dream  will  bring  ideas  which  are  related  to 
the  exercise  of  the  organic  function  which  is  performed  by 
that  apparatus." 

Mourly  Void 73  has  undertaken  to  prove  experimentally 
the  influence  assumed  by  the  theory  of  bodily  sensation  for  a 
single  territory.  He  has  made  experiments  in  altering  the 
positions  of  the  sleeper's  limbs,  and  has  compared  the  resulting 
dream  with  his  alterations.  As  a  result  he  reports  the  following 
theories  : — 

1.  The  position  of  a  limb  in  a  dream  corresponds  approxi- 
mately to  that  of  reality,  i.e.  we  dream  of  a  static  condition  of 
the  limb  which  corresponds  to  the  real  condition. 

2.  When  one  dreams  of  a  moving  limb  it  always  happens 
that  one  of  the  positions  occurring  in  the  execution  of  this 
movement  corresponds  to  the  real  position. 

3.  The  position  of  one's  own  limb  may  be  attributed  in  the 
dream  to  another  person. 

4.  One  may  dream  further  that  the  movement  in  question 
is  impeded. 

5.  The  limb  in  any  particular  position  may  appear  in  the 
dream  as  an  animal  or  monster,  in  which  case  a  certain  analogy 
between  the  two  is  established. 

6.  The  position  of  a  limb  may  incite  in  the  dream  ideas 
which  bear  some  relation  or  other  to  this  limb.  Thus,  e.g., 
if  we  are  employed  with  the  fingers  we  dream  of  numerals. 

Such  results  would  lead  me  to  conclude  that  even  the 
theory  of  bodily  sensation  cannot  fully  extinguish  the  apparent 
freedom  in  the  determination  of  the  dream  picture  to  be 

*  The  first  volume  of  this  Norwegian  author,  containing  a  complete  de- 
scription of  dreams,  has  recently  appeared  in  German.  See  Index  of 
Literature,  No.  74  a. 

LITERATURE    OF   THE   DREAM         33 

IV.  Psychic  Exciting  Sources. — In  treating  the  relations  of 
the  dream  to  the  waking  life  and  the  origin  of  the  dream 
material,  we  learned  that  the  earliest  as  well  as  the  latest 
investigators  agreed  that  men  dream  of  what  they  are  doing 
in  the  day-time,  and  of  what  they  are  interested  in  during  the 
waking  state.  This  interest  continuing  from  waking  life  into 
sleep,  besides  being  a  psychic  tie  joining  the  dream  to  life,  also 
furnishes  us  a  dream  source  not  to  be  under-estimated,  which, 
taken  with  those  stimuli  which  become  interesting  and  active 
during  sleep,  suffices  to  explain  the  origin  of  all  dream  pictures. 
But  we  have  also  heard  the  opposite  of  the  above  assertion, 
viz.  that  the  dream  takes  the  sleeper  away  from  the  interests 
of  the  day,  and  that  in  most  cases  we  do  not  dream  of  things 
that  have  occupied  our  attention  during  the  day  until  after 
they  have  lost  for  the  waking  life  the  stimulus  of  actuality. 
Hence  in  the  analysis  of  the  dream  life  we  are  reminded  at 
every  step  that  it  is  inadmissible  to  frame  general  rules  without 
making  provision  for  qualifications  expressed  by  such  terms 
as  "frequently,"  "as  a  rule,"  "in  most  cases,"  and  without 
preparing  for  the  validity  of  the  exceptions. 

If  the  conscious  interest,  together  with  the  inner  and  outer 
sleep  stimuli,  sufficed  to  cover  the  etiology  of  the  dreams,  we 
ought  to  be  in  a  position  to  give  a  satisfactory  account  of  the 
origin  of  all  the  elements  of  a  dream  ;  the  riddle  of  the  dream 
sources  would  thus  be  solved,  leaving  only  the  task  of  separat- 
ing the  part  played  by  the  psychic  and  the  somatic  dream  stimuli 
in  individual  dreams.  But  as  a  matter  of  fact  no  such  com- 
plete solution  of  a  dream  has  ever  been  accomplished  in  any 
case,  and,  what  is  more,  every  one  attempting  such  solution 
has  found  that  in  most  cases  there  have  remained  a  great 
many  components  of  the  dream,  the  source  of  which  he  was 
unable  to  explain.  The  daily  interest  as  a  psychic  source  of 
dreams  is  evidently  not  far-reaching  enough  to  justify  the 
confident  assertions  to  the  effect  that  we  all  continue  our 
waking  affairs  in  the  dream. 

Other  psychic  sources  of  dreams  are  unknown.  Hence, 
with  the  exception  perhaps  of  the  explanation  of  dreams  given 
by  Scherner,58  which  will  be  referred  to  later,  all  explanations 
found  in  the  literature  show  a  large  gap  when  we  come  to  the 
derivation  of  the  material  for  the  presentation  pictures,  which 



is  most  characteristic  for  the  dream.  In  this  dilemma  the 
majority  of  authors  have  developed  a  tendency  to  depreciate 
as  much  as  possible  the  psychic  factor  in  the  excitations  of 
dreams  which  is  so  difficult  to  approach.  To  be  sure,  they 
distinguish  as  a  main  division  of  dreams  the  nerve-exciting 
and  the  association  dreams,  and  assert  that  the  latter  has  its 
source  exclusively  in  reproduction  (Wundt,76  p.  365),  but  they 
cannot  yet  dismiss  the  doubt  whether  "  they  do  not  appear 
without  being  impelled  by  the  psychical  stimulus  "  (Volkelt,72 
p.  127).  The  characteristic  quality  of  the  pure  association 
dream  is  also  found  wanting.  To  quote  Volkelt  (p.  118) :  "In 
the  association  dreams  proper  we  can  no  longer  speak  of  such 
a  firm  nucleus.  Here  the  loose  grouping  penetrates  also  into 
the  centre  of  the  dream.  The  ideation  which  is  already  set 
free  from  reason  and  intellect  is  here  no  longer  held  together 
by  the  more  important  psychical  and  mental  stimuli,  but  is 
left  to  its  own  aimless  shifting  and  complete  confusion." 
Wundt,  too,  attempts  to  depreciate  the  psychic  factor  in  the 
stimulation  of  dreams  by  declaring  that  the  "  phantasms  of 
the  dream  certainly  are  unjustly  regarded  as  pure  hallucina- 
tions, and  that  probably  most  dream  presentations  are  really 
illusions,  inasmuch  as  they  emanate  from  slight  sensory  im- 
pressions which  are  never  extinguished  during  sleep "  (p. 
338,  &c).  Weygandt 75  agrees  with  this  view,  but  generalises 
it.  He  asserts  that  "  the  first  source  of  all  dream  presentations 
is  a  sensory  stimulus  to  which  reproductive  associations  are 
then  joined  "  (p.  17).  Tissie  68  goes  still  further  in  repressing 
the  psychic  exciting  sources  (p.  183)  :  "  Les  reves  d'origine 
absolument  psychique  n'existent  pas  "  ;  and  elsewhere  (p.  6), 
"  Les  pensees  de  nos  reves  nous  viennent  de  dehors  ..." 

Those  authors  who,  like  the  influential  philosopher  Wundt, 
adopt  a  middle  course  do  not  fail  to  remark  that  in  most 
dreams  there  is  a  co-operation  of  the  somatic  stimuli  with 
the  psychic  instigators  of  the  dream,  the  latter  being  either 
unknown  or  recognised  as  day  interests. 

We  shall  learn  later  that  the  riddle  of  the  dream  formation 
can  be  solved  by  the  disclosure  of  an  unsuspected  psychic 
source  of  excitement.  For  the  present  we  shall  not  be  surprised 
at  the  over-estimation  of  those  stimuli  for  the  formation  of 
the  dream  which  do  not  originate  from  psychic  life.     It  is 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         35 

not  merely  because  they  alone  can  easily  be  found  and  even 
confirmed  by  experiment,  but  the  somatic  conception  of  the 
origin  of  dreams  thoroughly  corresponds  to  the  mode  of 
thinking  in  vogue  nowadays  in  psychiatry.  Indeed,  the 
mastery  of  the  brain  over  the  organism  is  particularly  em- 
phasized ;  but  everything  that  might  prove  an  independence 
of  the  psychic  life  from  the  demonstrable  organic  changes,  or  a 
spontaneity  in  its  manifestations,  is  alarming  to  the  psychiatrist 
nowadays,  as  if  an  acknowledgment  of  the  same  were  bound  to 
bring  back  the  times  of  natural  philosophy  and  the  meta- 
physical conception  of  the  psychic  essence.  The  distrust  of 
the  psychiatrist  has  placed  the  psyche  under  a  guardian,  so 
to  speak,  and  now  demands  that  none  of  its  feelings  shall 
divulge  any  of  its  own  faculties  ;  but  this  attitude  shows  slight 
confidence  in  the  stability  of  the  causal  concatenation  which 
extends  between  the  material  and  the  psychic.  Even  where 
on  investigation  the  psychic  can  be  recognised  as  the  primary 
course  of  a  phenomenon,  a  more  profound  penetration  will 
some  day  succeed  in  finding  a  continuation  of  the  path  to  the 
organic  determination  of  the  psychic.  But  where  the  psychic 
must  be  taken  as  the  terminus  for  our  present  knowledge,  it 
should  not  be  denied  on  that  account. 

(d)  Why  the  Dream  is  Forgotten  after  Awakening. — That  the 
dream  "  fades  away  "  in  the  morning  is  proverbial.  To  be 
sure,  it  is  capable  of  recollection.  For  we  know  the  dream 
only  by  recalling  it  after  awakening ;  but  very  often  we 
believe  that  we  remember  it  only  incompletely,  and  that 
during  the  night  there  was  more  of  it ;  we  can  observe  how 
the  memory  of  a  dream  which  has  been  still  vivid  in  the 
morning  vanishes  in  the  course  of  the  day,  leaving  only  a  few 
small  fragments  ;  we  often  know  that  we  have  been  dreaming, 
but  we  do  not  know  what ;  and  we  are  so  well  used  to  the 
fact  that  the  dream  is  liable  to  be  forgotten  that  we  do  not 
reject  as  absurd  the  possibility  that  one  may  have  been 
dreaming  even  when  one  knows  nothing  in  the  morning  of 
either  the  contents  or  the  fact  of  dreaming.  On  the  other  hand, 
it  happens  that  dreams  manifest  an  extraordinary  retentive- 
ness  in  the  memory.  I  have  had  occasion  to  analyse  with  my 
patients  dreams  which  had  occurred  to  them  twenty-five 
years  or  more  previously,  and  I  can  remember  a  dream  of  my 


own  which  is  separated  from  the  present  day  by  at  least  thirty- 
seven  years,  and  yet  has  lost  nothing  of  its  freshness  in  my 
memory.  All  this  is  very  remarkable,  and  for  the  present 

The  forgetting  of  dreams  is  treated  in  the  most  detailed 
manner  by  Strümpell.66  This  forgetting  is  evidently  a  complex 
phenomenon  ;  for  Strümpell  does  not  explain  it  by  a  single 
reason,  but  by  a  considerable  number  of  reasons. 

In  the  first  place,  all  those  factors  which  produce  forgetful- 
ness  in  the  waking  state  are  also  determinant  for  the  forgetting 
of  dreams.  When  awake  we  are  wont  soon  to  forget  a  large 
number  of  sensations  and  perceptions  because  they  are  too 
feeble,  and  because  they  are  connected  with  a  slight  amount 
of  emotional  feeling.  This  is  also  the  case  with  many  dream 
pictures  ;  they  are  forgotten  because  they  are  too  weak,  while 
stronger  pictures  in  proximity  will  be  remembered.  Moreover, 
the  factor  of  intensity  in  itself  is  not  the  only  determinant 
for  the  preservation  of  the  dream  pictures ;  Strümpell,  as  well 
as  other  authors  (Calkins),  admits  that  dream  pictures  are 
often  rapidly  forgotten,  although  they  are  known  to  have  been 
vivid,  whereas  among  those  that  are  retained  in  memory 
there  are  many  that  are  very  shadowy  and  hazy.  Besides,  in 
the  waking  state  one  is  wont  to  forget  easily  what  happened 
only  once,  and  to  note  more  easily  things  of  repeated  occurrence. 
But  most  dream  pictures  are  single  experiences,*  and  this 
peculiarity  equally  contributes  towards  the  forgetting  of  all 
dreams.  Of  greater  significance  is  a  third  motive  for  forgetting. 
In  order  that  feelings,  presentations,  thoughts  and  the  like, 
should  attain  a  certain  degree  of  memory,  it  is  important  that 
they  should  not  remain  isolated,  but  that  they  should  enter 
into  connections  and  associations  of  a  suitable  kind.  If  the 
words  of  a  short  verse  are  taken  and  mixed  together,  it  will  be 
very  difficult  to  remember  them.  "  When  well  arranged  in 
suitable  sequence  one  word  will  help  another,  and  the  whole 
remains  as  sense  easily  and  firmly  in  the  memory  for  a  long 
time.  Contradictions  we  usually  retain  with  just  as  much 
difficulty  and  rarity  as  things  confused  and  disarranged." 
Now   dreams   in   most   cases   lack   sense   and   order.     Dream 

*  Periodically  recurrent  dreams  have  been  observed  repeatedly.  Cf. 
the  collection  of  Chabaneix.11 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         37 

compositions  are  by  their  very  nature  incapable  of  being 
remembered,  and  they  are  forgotten  because  they  usually 
crumble  together  the  very  next  moment.  To  be  sure,  these 
conclusions  are  not  in  full  accord  with  the  observation  of 
Radestock  54  (p.  168),  that  we  retain  best  just  those  dreams 
which  are  most  peculiar. 

According  to  Strümpell,  there  are  still  other  factors  effective 
in  the  forgetting  of  dreams  which  are  derived  from  the  relation 
of  the  dream  to  the  waking  state.  The  forgetfulness  of  the 
waking  consciousness  for  dreams  is  evidently  only  the  counter- 
part of  the  fact  already  mentioned,  that  the  dream  (almost) 
never  takes  over  successive  memories  from  the  waking  state, 
but  only  certain  details  of  these  memories  which  it  tears  away 
from  the  habitual  psychic  connections  in  which  they  are  re- 
called while  we  are  awake.  The  dream  composition,  therefore, 
has  no  place  in  the  company  of  psychic  successions  which  fill 
the  mind.  It  lacks  all  the  aids  of  memory.  "  In  this  manner 
the  dream  structure  rises,  as  it  were,  from  the  soil  of  our 
psychic  life,  and  floats  in  psychic  space  like  a  cloud  in  the  sky, 
which  the  next  breath  of  air  soon  dispels  "  (p.  87).  This  is 
also  aided  by  the  fact  that,  upon  awakening,  the  attention  is 
immediately  seized  by  the  inrushing  sensory  world,  and  only 
very  few  dream  pictures  can  withstand  this  power.  They  fade 
away  before  the  impressions  of  the  new  day  like  the  glow  of 
the  stars  before  the  sunlight. 

As  a  last  factor  favouring  the  forgetting  of  dreams,  we  may 
mention  the  fact  that  most  people  generally  take  little  interest 
in  their  dreams.  One  who  investigates  dreams  for  a  time, 
and  takes  a  special  interest  in  them,  usually  dreams  more 
during  that  time  than  at  any  other  ;  that  is,  he  remembers 
his  dreams  more  easily  and  more  frequently. 

Two  other  reasons  for  the  forgetting  of  dreams  added  by 
Bonatelli  (given  by  Benini 3)  to  those  of  Strümpell  have  already 
been  included  in  the  latter  ;  namely,  (1)  that  the  change  of  the 
general  feeling  between  the  sleeping  and  waking  states  is  un- 
favourable to  the  mutual  reproductions,  and  (2)  that  the 
different  arrangement  of  the  presentation  material  in  the 
dream  makes  the  dream  untranslatable,  so  to  speak,  for  the 
waking  consciousness. 

It  is  the  more  remarkable,  as  Strümpell  observes,  that,  in 


spite  of  all  these  reasons  for  forgetting  the  dream,  so  many 
dreams  are  retained  in  memory.  The  continued  efforts  of  the 
authors  to  formulate  laws  for  the  remembering  of  dreams 
amounts  to  an  admission  that  here  too  there  is  something 
puzzling  and  unsolved.  Certain  peculiarities  relating  to  the 
memory  of  dreams  have  been  particularly  noticed  of  late,  e.g., 
that  a  dream  which  is  considered  forgotten  in  the  morning  may 
be  recalled  in  the  course  of  the  day  through  a  perception 
which  accidentally  touches  the  forgotten  content  of  the  dream 
(Radestock,54  Tissie  6S).  The  entire  memory  of  the  dream  is 
open  to  an  objection  calculated  to  depreciate  its  value  very 
markedly  in  critical  eyes.  One  may  doubt  whether  our 
memory,  which  omits  so  much  from  the  dream,  does  not  falsify 
what  it  retained. 

Such  doubts  relating  to  the  exactness  of  the  reproduction 
of  the  dream  are  expressed  by  Strümpell  when  he  says  :  "It 
therefore  easily  happens  that  the  active  consciousness  in- 
voluntarily inserts  much  in  recollection  of  the  dream  ;  one 
imagines  one  has  dreamt  all  sorts  of  things  which  the  actual 
dream  did  not  contain." 

Jessen  36  (p.  547)  expresses  himself  very  decidedly  :  "  More- 
over we  must  not  lose  sight  of  the  fact,  hitherto  little  heeded, 
that  in  the  investigation  and  interpretation  of  orderly  and 
logical  dreams  we  almost  always  play  with  the  truth  when  we 
recall  a  dream  to  memory.  Unconsciously  and  unwittingly 
we  fill  up  the  gaps  and  supplement  the  dream  pictures.  Rarely, 
and  perhaps  never,  has  a  connected  dream  been  as  connected 
as  it  appears  to  us  in  memory.  Even  the  most  truth-loving 
person  can  hardly  relate  a  dream  without  exaggerating  and 
embellishing  it.  The  tendency  of  the  human  mind  to  conceive 
everything  in  connection  is  so  great  that  it  unwittingly  supplies 
the  deficiencies  of  connection  if  the  dream  is  recalled  somewhat 

The  observations  of  V.  Eggers,20  though  surely  inde- 
pendently conceived,  sound  almost  like  a  translation  of  Jessen's 
words  :  "  .  .  .  L'observation  des  reves  a  ses  difficulty  speciales 
et  le  seul  moyen  d'evitcr  toute  erreur  en  pareille  mati&re  est  de 
conner  au  papier  sans  le  moindre  retard  ce  que  Ton  vient 
d'eprouver  et  de  remarquer  ;  sinon,  l'oubli  vient  vite  ou  total 
ou  partiel ;  l'oubli  total  est  sans  gravitö  ;    mais  l'oubli  partiel 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         39 

est  perfide  ;  car  si  Ton  se  met  ensuite  ä  raconter  ce  que  Ton 
n'a  pas  oublie,  on  est  expose  ä  completer  par  imagination  les 
fragments  incoherents  et  disjoints  fourni  par  la  memoire  .  .  .  ; 
on  devient  artiste  ä  son  insu,  et  le  recit,  periodiquement  repete 
s'impose  ä  la  creance  de  son  auteur,  qui,  de  bonne  foi,  le 
presente  comme  mi  fait  authentique,  düment  etabli  selon  les 
bonnes  methodes  ..." 

Similarly  Spitta,64  who  seems  to  think  that  it  is  only  in  our 
attempt  to  reproduce  the  dream  that  we  put  in  order  the 
loosely  associated  dream  elements  :  "To  make  connection  out 
of  disconnection,  that  is,  to  add  the  process  of  logical  con- 
nection which  is  absent  in  the  dream." 

As  we  do  not  at  present  possess  any  other  objective  control 
for  the  reliability  of  our  memory,  and  as  indeed  such  a  control 
is  impossible  in  examining  the  dream  which  is  our  own  ex- 
perience, and  for  which  our  memory  is  the  only  source,  it  is  a 
question  what  value  we  may  attach  to  our  recollections  of 

(e)  The  Psychological  Peculiarities  of  Dreams. — In  the 
scientific  investigation  of  the  dream  we  start  with  the  assump- 
tion that  the  dream  is  an  occurrence  of  our  own  psychic 
activity  ;  nevertheless  the  finished  dream  appears  to  us  as 
something  strange,  the  authorship  of  which  we  are  so  little 
forced  to  recognise  that  we  can  just  as  easily  say  "  a  dream 
appeared  to  me,"  as  "  I  have  dreamt,"  Whence  this  "  psychic 
strangeness  "  of  the  dream  ?  According  to  our  discussion  of 
the  sources  of  dreams  we  may  suppose  that  it  does  not  depend 
on  the  material  reaching  the  dream  content ;  because  this  is 
for  the  most  part  common  to  the  dream  life  and  waking  life. 
One  may  ask  whether  in  the  dream  it  is  not  changes  in  the 
psychic  processes  which  call  forth  this  impression,  and  may 
so  put  to  test  a  psychological  characteristic  of  the  dream. 

No  one  has  more  strongly  emphasized  the  essential  difference 
between  dream  and  waking  life,  and  utilised  this  difference  for 
more  far-reaching  conclusions,  than  G.  Th.  Fechner  25  in  some 
observations  in  his  Elements  of  Psychophysic  (p.  520,  part  11). 
He  believes  that  "  neither  the  simple  depression  of  conscious 
psychic  life  under  the  main  threshold,"  nor  the  distraction  of 
attention  from  the  influences  of  the  outer  world,  suffices  to 
explain  the  peculiarities  of  the  dream  life  as  compared  with 


the  waking  life.  He  rather  believes  that  the  scene  of  dreams 
is  laid  elsewhere  than  in  the  waking  presentation  life.  "  If 
the  scene  of  the  psychophysical  activity  were  the  same  during 
the  sleeping  and  the  waking  states,  the  dream,  in  my  opinion, 
could  only  be  a  continuation  of  the  waking  ideation  maintain- 
ing itself  at  a  lower  degree  of  intensity,  and  must  moreover 
share  with  the  latter  its  material  and  form.  But  the  state  of 
affairs  is  quite  different." 

What  Fechner  really  meant  has  never  been  made  clear, 
nor  has  anybody  else,  to  my  knowledge,  followed  further  the 
road,  the  clue  to  which  he  indicated  in  this  remark.  An 
anatomical  interpretation  in  the  sense  of  physiological  brain 
localisations,  or  even  in  reference  to  histological  sections  of 
the  cerebral  cortex,  will  surely  have  to  be  excluded.  The 
thought  may,  however,  prove  ingenious  and  fruitful  if  it  can  be 
referred  to  a  psychic  apparatus  which  is  constructed  out  of 
many  instances  placed  one  behind  another. 

Other  authors  have  been  content  to  render  prominent  one 
or  another  of  the  tangible  psychological  peculiarities  of  the 
dream  life,  and  perhaps  to  take  these  as  a  starting  point  for 
more  far-reaching  attempts  at  explanation. 

It  has  been  justly  remarked  that  one  of  the  main  pecu- 
liarities of  the  dream  life  appears  even  in  the  state  of  falling 
asleep,  and  is  to  be  designated  as  the  phenomenon  inducing 
sleep.  According  to  Schleiermacher 61  (p.  351),  the  char- 
acteristic part  of  the  waking  state  is  the  fact  that  the  psychic 
activity  occurs  in  ideas  rather  than  in  pictures.  But  the 
dream  thinks  in  pictures,  and  one  may  observe  that  with  the 
approach  of  sleep  the  voluntary  activities  become  difficult 
in  the  same  measure  as  the  involuntary  appear,  the  latter 
belonging  wholly  to  the  class  of  pictures.  The  inability  for 
such  presentation  work  as  we  perceive  to  be  intentionally 
desired,  and  the  appearance  of  pictures  which  is  regularly 
connected  with  this  distraction,  these  are  two  qualities  which 
are  constant  in  the  dream,  and  which  in  its  psychological 
analysis  we  must  recognise  as  essential  characters  of  the  dream 
life.  Concerning  the  pictures — the  hypnogogic  hallucinations 
— we  have  discovered  that  even  in  their  content  they  are 
identical  with  the  dream  pictures. 

The     dream    therefore     thinks     preponderately,    but    not 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         41 

exclusively,  in  visual  pictures.  It  also  makes  use  of  auditory 
pictures,  and  to  a  lesser  extent  of  the  impressions  of  the  other 
senses.  Much  is  also  simply  thought  or  imagined  (probably 
represented  by  remnants  of  word  presentations),  just  as  in 
the  waking  state.  But  still  what  is  characteristic  for  the 
dream  is  only  those  elements  of  the  content  which  act  like 
pictures,  i.e.  which  resemble  more  the  perceptions  than 
the  memory  presentations.  Disregarding  all  the  discussions 
concerning  the  nature  of  hallucinations,  familiar  to  every 
psychiatrist,  we  can  say,  with  all  well-versed  authors,  that  the 
dream  hallucinates,  that  is,  replaces  thoughts  through  hallucina- 
tions. In  this  respect  there  is  no  difference  between  visual 
and  acoustic  presentations ;  it  has  been  noticed  that  the 
memory  of  a  succession  of  sounds  with  which  one  falls  asleep 
becomes  transformed  while  sinking  into  sleep  into  an  hallucina- 
tion of  the  same  melody,  so  as  to  make  room  again  on  awaken- 
ing, which  may  repeatedly  alternate  with  falling  into  a  slumber, 
for  the  softer  memory  presentations  which  are  differently 
formed  in  quality. 

The  transformation  of  an  idea  into  an  hallucination  is  not 
the  only  deviation  of  the  dream  from  a  waking  thought  which 
perhaps  corresponds  to  it.  From  these  pictures  the  dream 
forms  a  situation,  it  presents  something  in  the  present,  it 
dramatises  an  idea,  as  Spitta  64  (p.  145)  puts  it.*  But  the 
characteristic  of  this  side  of  the  dream  life  becomes  complete 
only  when  it  is  remembered  that  while  dreaming  we  do  not 
— as  a  rule  ;  the  exceptions  require  a  special  explanation — 
imagine  that  we  are  thinking,  but  that  we  are  living  through 
an  experience,  i.e.,  we  accept  the  hallucination  with  full 
belief.  The  criticism  that  this  has  not  been  experienced  but 
only  thought  in  a  peculiar  manner — dreamt — comes  to  us  only 
on  awakening.  This  character  distinguishes  the  genuine 
sleeping  dream  from  day  dreaming,  which  is  never  confused 
with  reality. 

The  characteristics  of  the  dream  life  thus  far  considered 
have  been  summed  up  by  Burdach 8  (p.  476)  in  the  following 
sentences  :    "As  characteristic  features  of  the  dream  we  may 

*  Silberer  has  shown  by  nice  examples  how  in  the  state  of  sleepiness  even 
abstract  thoughts  may  be  changed  into  illustrative  plastic  pictures  which 
express  the  same  thing  {Jahrbuch  von  Bleuler-Freud,  vol.  i.  1900). 


add  (a)  that  the  subjective  activity  of  our  mind  appears  as 
objective,  inasmuch  as  our  faculty  of  perception  perceives  the 
products  of  phantasy  as  if  they  were  sensory  activities  .  .  . 
(b)  sleep  abrogates  one's  self-command,  hence  falling  asleep 
necessitates  a  certain  amount  of  passivity.  .  .  .  The  slumber 
pictures  are  conditioned  by  the  relaxation  of  one's  self- 

It  is  a  question  now  of  attempting  to  explain  the  credulity 
of  the  mind  in  reference  to  the  dream  hallucinations,  which 
can  only  appear  after  the  suspension  of  a  certain  arbitrary 
activity.  Strümpell 66  asserts  that  the  mind  behaves  in  this 
respect  correctly,  and  in  conformity  with  its  mechanism. 
The  dream  elements  are  by  no  means  mere  presentations,  but 
true  and  real  experiences  of  the  mind,  similar  to  those  that 
appear  in  the  waking  state  as  a  result  of  the  senses  (p.  34). 
Whereas  in  the  waking  state  the  mind  represents  and  thinks 
in  word  pictures  and  language,  in  the  dream  it  represents  and 
thinks  in  real  tangible  pictures  (p.  35).  Besides,  the  dream 
manifests  a  consciousness  of  space  by  transferring  the  sensa- 
tions and  pictures,  just  as  in  the  waking  state,  into  an  outer 
space  (p.  36).  It  must  therefore  be  admitted  that  the  mind 
in  the  dream  is  in  the  same  relation  to  its  pictures  and  per- 
ceptions as  in  the  waking  state  (p.  43).  If,  however,  it  is 
thereby  led  astray,  this  is  due  to  the  fact  that  it  lacks  in  sleep 
the  criticism  which  alone  can  distinguish  between  the  sensory 
perceptions  emanating  from  within  or  from  without.  It 
cannot  subject  its  pictures  to  the  tests  which  alone  can  prove 
their  objective  reality.  It  furthermore  neglects  to  differentiate 
between  pictures  that  are  arbitrarily  interchanged  and  others 
where  there  is  no  free  choice.  It  errs  because  it  cannot  apply 
to  its  content  the  law  of  causality  (p.  58).  In  brief,  its  aliena- 
tion from  the  outer  world  contains  also  the  reason  for  its 
belief  in  the  subjective  dream  world. 

Delbceuf  16  reaches  the  same  conclusion  through  a  some- 
what different  line  of  argument.  We  give  to  the  dream 
pictures  the  credence  of  reality  because  in  sleep  we  have  no 
other  impressions  to  compare  them  with,  because  we  are 
cut  off  from  the  outer  world.  But  it  is  not  perhaps  because 
we  are  unable  to  make  tests  in  our  sleep,  that  we  believe  in  the 
truth  of  our  hallucinations.     The  dream  may  delude  us  with 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         43 

all  these  tests,  it  may  make  us  believe  that  we  may  touch  the 
rose  that  we  see  in  the  dream,  and  still  we  only  dream.  Ac- 
cording to  Delbceuf  there  is  no  valid  criterion  to  show  whether 
something  is  a  dream  or  a  conscious  reality,  except — and  that 
only  in  practical  generality — the  fact  of  awakening.  "  I  declare 
delusional  everything  that  is  experienced  between  the  period 
of  falling  asleep  and  awakening,  if  I  notice  on  awakening  that 
I  lie  in  my  bed  undressed "  (p.  84).  "I  have  considered  the 
dream  pictures  real  during  sleep  in  consequence  of  the  mental 
habit,  which  cannot  be  put  to  sleep,  of  perceiving  an  outer 
world  with  which  I  can  contrast  my  ego."  * 

As  the  deviation  from  the  outer  world  is  taken  as  the  stamp 
for  the  most  striking  characteristics  of  the  dream,  it  will  be 
worth  while  mentioning  some  ingenious  observations  of  old 
Burdach  8  which  will  throw  light  on  the  relation  of  the  sleeping 
mind  to  the  outer  world  and  at  the  same  time  serve  to  prevent 
us  from  over-estimating  the  above  deductions.  "  Sleep  results 
only  under  the  condition,"  says  Burdach,  "  that  the  mind  is 

*  Haffher 32  made  an  attempt  similar  to  Delboeuf  's  to  explain  the  dream 
activity  on  the  basis  of  an  alteration  which  must  result  in  an  introduction 
of  an  abnormal  condition  in  the  otherwise  correct  function  of  the  intact 
psychic  apparatus,  but  he  described  this  condition  in  somewhat  different 
words.  He  states  that  the  first  distinguishing  mark  of  the  dream  is  the 
absence  of  time  and  space,  i.e.  the  emancipation  of  the  presentation  from  the 
position  in  the  order  of  time  and  space  which  is  common  to  the  individual. 
Allied  to  this  is  the  second  fundamental  character  of  the  dream,  the  mis- 
taking of  the  hallucinations,  imaginations,  and  phantasy- combinations  for 
objective  perceptions.  The  sum  total  of  the  higher  psychic  forces,  especially 
formation  of  ideas,  judgment,  and  argumentation  on  the  one  hand,  and  the 
free  self-determination  on  the  other  hand,  connect  themselves  with  the 
sensory  phantasy  pictures  and  at  all  times  have  them  as  a  substratum. 
These  activities  too,  therefore,  participate  in  the  irregularity  of  the  dream 
presentation.  We  say  they  participate,  for  our  faculties  of  judgment  and 
will  power  are  in  themselves  in  no  way  altered  during  sleep.  In  reference 
to  activity,  we  are  just  as  keen  and  just  as  free  as  in  the  waking  state.  A 
man  cannot  act  contrary  to  the  laws  of  thought,  even  in  the  dream,  i.e.  he 
is  unable  to  harmonise  with  that  which  represents  itself  as  contrary  to 
him,  &c. ;  he  can  only  desire  in  the  dream  that  which  he  presents  to  himself 
as  good  (sub  ratione  boni).  But  in  this  application  of  the  laws  of  thinking 
and  willing  the  human  mind  is  led  astray  in  the  dream  through  mistaking 
one  presentation  for  another.  It  thus  happens  that  we  form  and  commit  in 
the  dream  the  greatest  contradictions,  while,  on  the  other  hand,  we  display 
the  keenest  judgments  and  the  most  consequential  chains  of  reasoning,  and 
can  make  the  most  virtuous  and  sacred  resolutions.  Lack  of  orientation  is 
the  whole  secret  of  the  flight  by  which  our  phantasy  moves  in  the  dream, 
and  lack  of  critical  reflection  and  mutual  understanding  with  others  is  the 
main  source  of  the  reckless  extravagances  of  our  judgments,  hopes,  and 
wishes  in  the  dream"  (p.  18). 


not  excited  by  sensory  stimuli  .  .  .  but  it  is  not  the  lack  of 
sensory  stimuli  that  conditions  sleep,  but  rather  a  lack  of 
interest  for  the  same  ;  some  sensory  impressions  are  even 
necessary  in  so  far  as  they  serve  to  calm  the  mind  ;  thus  the 
miller  can  fall  asleep  only  when  he  hears  the  rattling  of  his 
mill,  and  he  who  finds  it  necessary  to  burn  a  light  at  night,  as 
a  matter  of  precaution,  cannot  fall  asleep  in  the  dark  "  (p.  457). 

"  The  psyche  isolates  itself  during  sleep  from  the  outer 
world,  and  withdraws  from  the  periphery.  .  .  .  Nevertheless, 
the  connection  is  not  entirely  interrupted  ;  if  one  did  not  hear 
and  feel  even  during  sleep,  but  only  after  awakening,  he 
would  certainly  never  awake.  The  continuance  of  sensation 
is  even  more  plainly  shown  by  the  fact  that  we  are  not  always 
awakened  by  the  mere  sensory  force  of  the  impression,  but  by 
the  psychic  relation  of  the  same ;  an  indifferent  word  does  not 
arouse  the  sleeper,  but  if  called  by  name  he  awakens  .  .  .  : 
hence  the  psyche  differentiates  sensations  during  sleep.  .  .  . 
It  is  for  this  reason  that  we  may  be  awakened  by  the  lack  of  a 
sensory  stimulus  if  it  relates  to  the  presentation  of  an  important 
thing  ;  thus  one  awakens  when  the  light  is  extinguished,  and 
the  miller  when  the  mill  comes  to  a  standstill ;  that  is,  the 
awakening  is  due  to  the  cessation  of  a  sensory  activity,  which 
presupposes  that  it  has  been  perceived,  and  that  it  has  not 
disturbed  the  mind,  being  indifferent  or  rather  gratifying  " 
(p.  460,  &c). 

If  we  are  willing  to  disregard  these  objections,  which  are 
not  to  be  taken  lightly,  we  still  must  admit  that  the  qualities 
of  the  dream  life  thus  far  considered,  which  originate  by 
withdrawing  from  the  outer  world,  cannot  fully  explain  the 
strangeness  of  the  dream.  For  otherwise  it  would  be  possible 
to  change  back  the  hallucinations  of  the  dream  into  presenta- 
tions and  the  situations  of  the  dream  into  thoughts,  and  thus 
to  perform  the  task  of  dream  interpretation.  Now  this  is 
what  we  do  when  we  reproduce  the  dream  from  memory  after 
awakening,  and  whether  we  are  fully  or  only  partially  success- 
ful in  this  back  translation  the  dream  still  retains  its  mysterious- 
ness  undiminished. 

Furthermore  all  the  authors  assume  unhesitatingly  that 
still  other  more  far-reaching  alterations  take  place  in  the 
presentation  material  of  waking  life.     One  of  them,  Strümpell,66 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         45 

expresses  himself  as  follows  (p.  17)  :  "  With  the  cessation  of 
the  objectively  active  outlook  and  of  the  normal  consciousness, 
the  psyche  loses  the  foundation  in  which  were  rooted  the 
feelings,  desires,  interests,  and  actions.  Those  psychic  states, 
feelings,  interests,  estimates  which  cling  in  the  waking  state 
to  the  memory  pictures  also  succumb  to  ...  an  obscure 
pressure,  in  consequence  of  which  their  connection  with  the 
pictures  becomes  severed  ;  the  perception  pictures  of  things, 
persons,  localities,  events,  and  actions  of  the  waking  state 
are  singly  very  abundantly  reproduced,  but  none  of  these 
brings  along  its  psychic  value.  The  latter  is  removed  from 
them,  and  hence  they  float  about  in  the  mind  dependent  upon 
their  own  resources.  .  .  ." 

This  deprivation  the  picture  surfers  of  its  psychic  value, 
which  again  goes  back  to  the  derivation  from  the  outer  world, 
is  according  to  Strümpell  mainly  responsible  for  the  impression 
of  strangeness  with  which  the  dream  is  confronted  in  our 

We  have  heard  that  even  falling  asleep  carries  with  it  the 
abandonment  of  one  of  the  psychic  activities — namely,  the 
voluntary  conduct  of  the  presentation  course.  Thus  the 
supposition,  suggested  also  by  other  grounds,  obtrudes  itself, 
that  the  sleeping  state  may  extend  its  influence  also  over  the 
psychic  functions.  One  or  the  other  of  these  functions  is 
perhaps  entirely  suspended ;  whether  the  remaining  ones 
continue  to  work  undisturbed,  whether  they  can  furnish  normal 
work  under  the  circumstances,  is  the  next  question.  The 
idea  occurs  to  us  that  the  peculiarities  of  the  dream  may  be 
explained  through  the  inferior  psychic  activity  during  the 
sleeping  state,  but  now  comes  the  impression  made  by  the 
dream  upon  our  waking  judgment  which  is  contrary  to  such  a 
conception.  The  dream  is  disconnected,  it  unites  without 
hesitation  the  worst  contradictions,  it  allows  impossibilities, 
it  disregards  our  authoritative  knowledge  from  the  day,  and 
evinces  ethical  and  moral  dulness.  He  who  would  behave  in 
the  waking  state  as  the  dream  does  in  its  situations  would  be 
considered  insane.  He  who  in  the  waking  state  would  speak 
in  such  manner  or  report  such  things  as  occur  in  the  dream 
content,  would  impress  us  as  confused  and  weak-minded. 
Thus  we  believe  that  we  are  only  rinding  words  for  the  fact 


when  we  place  but  little  value  on  the  psychic  activity  in  the 
dream,  and  especially  when  we  declare  that  the  higher  in- 
tellectual activities  are  suspended  or  at  least  much  impaired  in 
the  dream. 

With  unusual  unanimity — the  exceptions  will  be  dealt  with 
elsewhere — the  authors  have  pronounced  their  judgments  on  the 
dream — such  judgments  as  lead  immediately  to  a  definite 
theory  or  explanation  of  the  dream  life.  It  is  time  that  I 
should  supplement  the  risumd  which  I  have  just  given  with  a 
collection  of  the  utterances  of  different  authors — philosophers 
and  physicians — on  the  psychological  character  of  the  dream. 

According  to  Lemoine,42  the  incoherence  of  the  dream 
picture  is  the  only  essential  character  of  the  dream. 

Maury  48  agrees  with  him  ;  he  says  (p.  163)  :  "II  n'y  a  pas 
des  reves  absolument  raisonnables  et  qui  ne  contiennent  quelque 
incoherence,  quelque  anachronisme,  quelque  absurdite." 

According  to  Hegel,  quoted  by  Spitta,64  the  dream  lacks  all 
objective  and  comprehensible  connection. 

Dugas 19  says  :  "  Le  reve,  c'est  l'anarchie  psychique, 
affective  et  mentale,  c'est  le  jeu  des  fonctions  livrees  ä  elles- 
memes  et  s'exercant  sans  contröle  et  sans  but ;  dans  le  rove 
l'esprit  est  un  automate  spirituel." 

"  The  relaxation,  solution,  and  confusion  of  the  presenta- 
tion life  which  is  held  together  through  the  logical  force  of  the 
central  ego  "  is  conceded  even  by  Volkelt 72  (p.  14),  according  to 
whose  theory  the  psychic  activity  during  sleep  seems  in  no 
way  aimless. 

The  absurdity  of  the  presentation  connections  appearing  in 
the  dream  can  hardly  be  more  strongly  condemned  than  it  was 
by  Cicero  {De  Divin.  II.)  :  "Nihil  tarn  praepostere,  tarn  in- 
condite, tarn  monstruose  cogitari  potest,  quod  non  possimus 

Fechner  52  says  (p.  522)  :  "  It  is  as  if  the  psychological 
activity  were  transferred  from  the  brain  of  a  reasonable  being 
into  the  brain  of  a  fool." 

Radestock  3fj  (p.  145)  says  :  "  It  seems  indeed  impossible 
to  recognise  in  this  absurd  action  any  firm  law.  Having  with- 
drawn itself  from  the  strict  police  of  the  rational  will  guiding  the 
waking  presentation  life,  and  of  the  attention,  the  dream 
whirls  everything  about  kaleidoscopically  in  mad  play." 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         47 

Hildebrandt 35  (p.  45)  says  :  "  What  wonderful  jumps  the 
dreamer  allows  himself,  e.g.,  in  his  chain  of  reasoning  !  With 
what  unconcern  he  sees  the  most  familiar  laws  of  experience 
turned  upside  down  !  What  ridiculous  contradictions  he  can 
tolerate  in  the  orders  of  nature  and  society  before  things  go 
too  far,  as  we  say,  and  the  overstraining  of  the  nonsense 
brings  an  awakening  !  We  often  multiply  quite  unconcernedly  : 
three  times  three  make  twenty  ;  we  are  not  at  all  surprised 
when  a  dog  recites  poetry  for  us,  when  a  dead  person  walks 
to  his  grave,  and  when  a  rock  swims  on  the  water  ;  we  go  in 
all  earnestness  by  high  command  to  the  duchy  of  Bernburg  or 
the  principality  of  Lichtenstein  in  order  to  observe  the  navy 
of  the  country,  or  we  allow  ourselves  to  be  recruited  as  a 
volunteer  by  Charles  XII.  shortly  before  the  battle  of  Poltawa." 

Binz  4  (p.  33)  points  to  a  dream  theory  resulting  from  the 
impressions.  "  Among  ten  dreams  nine  at  least  have  an 
absurd  content.  We  unite  in  them  persons  or  things  which  do 
not  bear  the  slightest  relation  to  one  another.  In  the  next 
moment,  as  in  a  kaleidoscope,  the  grouping  changes,  if  possible 
to  one  more  nonsensical  and  irrational  than  before  ;  thus  the 
changing  play  of  the  imperfectly  sleeping  brain  continues  until 
we  awaken,  and  put  our  hand  to  our  forehead  and  ask  ourselves 
whether  we  really  still  possess  the  faculty  of  rational  imagina- 
tion and  thought." 

Maury  48  (p.  50)  finds  for  the  relation  of  the  dream  picture 
to  the  waking  thoughts,  a  comparison  most  impressive  for  the 
physician  :  "La  production  de  ces  images  que  chez  l'homme 
eveille  fait  le  plus  souvent  naltre  la  volonte,  correspond,  pour 
Fintelligence,  ä  ce  que  cont  pour  la  motilite  certains  mouvements 
que  nous  offrent  la  choree  et  les  affections  paralytiques.  ..." 
For  the  rest,  he  considers  the  dream  "  toute  une  serie  de  degra- 
dation de  la  faculte  pensant  et  raisonant  "  (p.  27). 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  mention  the  utterances  of  the 
authors  which  repeat  Maury's  assertion  for  the  individual 
higher  psychic  activities. 

According  to  Strümpell,66  some  logical  mental  operations 
based  on  relations  and  connections  disappear  in  the  dream — 
naturally  also  at  points  where  the  nonsense  is  not  obvious 
(p.  26).  According  to  Spitta,64  (p.  148)  the  presentations  in 
the  dream  are  entirely  withdrawn  from  the  laws  of  causality. 


Radestock  54  and  others  emphasize  the  weakness  of  judgment 
and  decision  in  the  dream.  According  to  Jodl 37  (p.  123),  there 
is  no  critique  in  the  dream,  and  no  correcting  of  a  series  of 
perceptions  through  the  content  of  the  sum  of  consciousness. 
The  same  author  states  that  "  all  forms  of  conscious  activity 
occur  in  the  dream,  but  they  are  imperfect,  inhibited,  and 
isolated  from  one  another."  The  contradictions  manifested  in 
the  dream  towards  our  conscious  knowledge  are  explained 
by  Strieker  77  78  (and  many  others),  on  the  ground  that  facts 
are  forgotten  in  the  dream  and  logical  relations  between  pre- 
sentations are  lost  (p.  98),  &c,  &c. 

The  authors  who  in  general  speak  thus  unfavourably  about 
the  psychic  capacities  in  the  dream,  nevertheless  admit  that 
the  dream  retains  a  certain  remnant  of  psychic  activity. 
Wundt,76  whose  teaching  has  influenced  so  many  other  workers 
in  the  dream  problems,  positively  admits  this.  One  might 
inquire  as  to  the  kind  and  behaviour  of  the  remnants  of  the 
psychic  life  which  manifest  themselves  in  the  dream.  It  is 
now  quite  universally  acknowledged  that  the  reproductive 
capacity,  the  memory  in  the  dream,  seems  to  have  been  least 
affected  ;  indeed  it  may  show  a  certain  superiority  over  the 
same  function  in  the  waking  life  (vid.  supra,  p.  10),  although  a 
part  of  the  absurdities  of  the  dream  are  to  be  explained  by 
just  this  forgetfulness  of  the  dream  life.  According  to  Spitta,64 
it  is  the  emotional  life  of  the  psyche  that  is  not  overtaken  by 
sleep  and  that  then  directs  the  dream.  "  By  emotion 
["  Gemiith  "]  we  understand  the  constant  comprehension  of 
the  feelings  as  the  inmost  subjective  essence  of  man  "  (p.  84). 

Scholz  59  (p.  37)  sees  a  psychic  activity  manifested  in  the 
dream  in  the  "  allegorising  interpretation "  to  which  the 
dream  material  is  subjected.  Siebeck  62  verifies  also  in  the 
dream  the  "supplementary  interpretative  activity"  (p.  11) 
which  the  mind  exerts  on  all  that  is  perceived  and  viewed. 
The  judgment  of  the  apparently  highest  psychic  function, 
the  consciousness,  presents  for  the  dream  a  special  difficulty. 
As  we  can  know  anything  only  through  consciousness,  there 
can  be  no  doubt  as  to  its  retention  ;  Spitta,  however,  believes 
that  only  consciousness  is  retained  in  the  dream,  and  not  self- 
consciousness.  Delbceuf 16  confesses  that  he  is  unable  to 
conceive  this  differentiation. 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         49 

The  laws  of  association  which  govern  the  connection  of 
ideas  hold  true  also  for  the  dream  pictures  ;  indeed,  their 
domination  evinces  itself  in  a  purer  and  stronger  expression 
in  the  dream  than  elsewhere.  Strümpell 62  (p.  70)  says  :  "  The 
dream  follows  either  the  laws  of  undisguised  presentations  as 
it  seems  exclusively  or  organic  stimuli  along  with  such  pre- 
sentations, that  is,  without  being  influenced  by  reflection  and 
reason,  aesthetic  sense,  and  moral  judgment."  The  authors 
whose  views  I  reproduce  here  conceive  the  formation  of  the 
dream  in  about  the  following  manner  :  The  sum  of  sensation 
stimuli  affecting  sleep  from  the  various  sources,  discussed 
elsewhere,  at  first  awaken  in  the  mind  a  sum  of  presentations 
which  represent  themselves  as  hallucinations  (according  to 
Wundt,  it  is  more  correct  to  say  as  illusions,  because  of  their 
origin  from  outer  and  inner  stimuli).  These  unite  with  one 
another  according  to  the  known  laws  of  association,  and, 
following  the  same  rules,  in  turn  evoke  a  new  series  of  pre- 
sentations (pictures).  This  entire  material  is  then  elaborated 
as  well  as  possible  by  the  still  active  remnant  of  the  organising 
and  thinking  mental  faculties  (cf.  Wundt 76  and  Weygandt 75). 
But  thus  far  no  one  has  been  successful  in  finding  the  motive 
which  would  decide  that  the  awakening  of  pictures  which  do 
not  originate  objectively  follow  this  or  that  law  of  association. 

But  it  has  been  repeatedly  observed  that  the  associations 
which  connect  the  dream  presentations  with  one  another  are 
of  a  particular  kind,  and  different  from  those  found  in  the 
waking  mental  activity.  Thus  Volkelt 72  says  :  "In  the  dream, 
the  ideas  chase  and  hunt  each  other  on  the  strength  of  acci- 
dental similarities  and  barely  perceptible  connections.  All 
dreams  are  pervaded  by  such  loose  and  free  associations." 
Maury  48  attaches  great  value  to  this  characteristic  of  connec- 
tion between  presentations,  which  allows  him  to  bring  the 
dream  life  in  closer  analogy  to  certain  mental  disturbances. 
He  recognises  two  main  characters  of  the  dSlire  :  "  (1)  une 
action  spontanee  et  comme  automatique  de  Fesprit ;  (2)  une 
association  vicieuse  et  irreguliere  des  idees  "  (p.  126).  Maury 
gives  us  two  excellent  examples  from  his  own  dreams,  in  which 
the  mere  similarity  of  sound  forms  the  connection  of  the 
dream  presentations.  He  dreamed  once  that  he  undertook 
a  pilgrimage  (pe'lerinage)  to  Jerusalem  or  Mecca.     After  many 



adventures  he  was  with  the  chemist  Pelletier  ;  the  latter  after 
some  talk  gave  him  a  zinc  shovel  (pelle)  which  became  his 
long  battle  sword  in  the  dream  fragment  which  followed 
(p.  137).  On  another  occasion  he  walked  in  a  dream  on  the 
highway  and  read  the  kilometres  on  the  milestones  ;  presently 
he  was  with  a  spice  merchant  who  had  large  scales  with  which 
to  weigh  Maury  ;  the  spice  merchant  then  said  to  him  :  "  You 
are  not  in  Paris  ;  but  on  the  island  Gilolo."  This  was  followed 
by  many  pictures,  in  which  he  saw  the  flower  Lobelia,  then 
the  General  Lopez,  of  whose  demise  he  had  read  shortly  before. 
He  finally  awoke  while  playing  a  game  of  lotto. 

We  are,  however,  quite  prepared  to  hear  that  this  de- 
preciation of  the  psychic  activities  of  the  dream  has  not  remained 
without  contradiction  from  the  other  side.  To  be  sure,  con- 
tradiction seems  difficult  here.  Nor  is  it  of  much  significance 
that  one  of  the  depredators  of  dream  life,  Spitta  64  (p.  118), 
assures  us  that  the  same  psychological  laws  which  govern  the 
waking  state  rule  the  dream  also,  or  that  another  (Dugas  19) 
states  :  "  Le  reve  n'est  pas  deraison  ni  meme  irraison  pure," 
as  long  as  neither  of  them  has  made  any  effort  to  bring  this 
estimation  into  harmony  with  the  psychic  anarchy  and  dis- 
solution of  all  functions  in  the  dream  described  by  them. 
Upon  others,  however,  the  possibility  seems  to  have  dawned 
that  the  madness  of  the  dream  is  perhaps  not  without  its 
method — that  it  is  perhaps  only  a  sham,  like  that  of  the  Danish 
prince,  to  whose  madness  the  intelligent  judgment  here  cited 
refers.  These  authors  must  have  refrained  from  judging  by 
appearances,  or  the  appearance  which  the  dream  showed  to 
them  was  quite  different. 

Without  wishing  to  linger  at  its  apparent  absurdity, 
Havelock  Ellis  23  considers  the  dream  as  "an  archaic  world  of 
vast  emotions  and  imperfect  thoughts,"  the  study  of  which 
may  make  us  acquainted  with  primitive  stages  of  development 
of  the  psychic  life.  A  thinker  like  Delboeuf  16  asserts — to 
be  sure  without  adducing  proof  against  the  contradictory 
material,  and  hence  indeed  unjustly  :  "  Dans  le  sommeil,  hormis 
la  perception,  toutes  les  facultes  de  Fesprit,  intelligence,  imagina- 
tion, memoire,  volonte,  moralite,  restant  intactes  dans  leur 
essence  ;  seulement,  elles  s'appliquent  a  des  objets  imaginaires 
et  mobiles.     Le  songeur  est  un  acteur  qui  joue  ä  volonte  les 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         51 

fous  et  les  sages,  les  bourreaus  et  les  victimes,  les  nains  et  les 
geants,  les  demons  et  les  anges  "  (p.  222).  The  Marquis  of 
Hervey,  who  is  sharply  controverted  by  Maury,48  and  whose 
work  I  could  not  obtain  despite  all  effort,  seems  to  combat 
most  energetically  the  under-estimation  of  the  psychic  capacity 
in  the  dream.  Maury  speaks  of  him  as  follows  (p.  19)  :  "  M.  le 
Marquis  d'Hervey  prete  ä  l'intelligence,  durant  le  sommeil 
toute  sa  liberte  d'action  et  d'attention  et  il  ne  semble  faire 
consister  le  sommeil  que  dans  l'occlusion  des  sens,  dans  leur 
fermeture  au  monde  exterieur  ;  en  sorte  que  l'homme  qui  dort 
ne  se  distingue  guere,  selon  sa  maniere  de  voir,  de  l'homme  qui 
laisse  vaguer  sa  pensee  en  se  bouchant  les  sens  ;  toute  la 
difference  qui  separe  alors  la  pensee  ordinaire  du  celle  du 
dormeur  c'est  que,  chez  celui-ci,  l'idee  prend  une  forme  visible, 
objective  et  ressemble,  a  s'y  meprendre,  ä  la  sensation  deter- 
minee  par  les  objets  exterieurs  ;  le  souvenir  revet  l'apparence 
du  fait  present." 

Maury  adds,  however  ;  "  Qu'il  y  a  une  difference  de  plus 
et  capitale  ä  savoir  que  les  facultes  intellectuelles  de  l'homme 
endormi  n'offrent  pas  l'equilibre  qu'elles  gardent  chez  l'homme 

The  scale  of  the  estimation  of  the  dream  as  a  psychic 
product  has  a  great  range  in  the  literature  ;  it  reaches  from 
the  lowest  under-estimation,  the  expression  of  which  we  have 
come  to  know,  through  the  idea  of  a  value  not  yet  revealed  to 
the  over-estimation  which  places  the  dream  far  above  the 
capacities  of  the  waking  life.  Hildebrandt,35  who,  as  we  know, 
sketches  the  psychological  characteristics  into  three  anti- 
nomies, sums  up  in  the  third  of  these  contradistinctions  the 
extreme  points  of  this  series  as  follows  (p.  19)  :  "  It  is  between 
a  climax,  often  an  involution  which  raises  itself  to  virtuosity, 
and  on  the  other  hand  a  decided  diminution  and  weakening  of 
the  psychic  life  often  leading  below  the  human  niveau." 

"  As  for  the  first,  who  could  not  confirm  from  his  own 
experience  that,  in  the  creations  and  weavings  of  the  genius 
of  the  dream,  there  sometimes  comes  to  fight  a  profundity 
and  sincerity  of  emotion,  a  tenderness  of  feeling,  a  clearness  of 
view,  a  fineness  of  observation,  and  a  readiness  of  wit,  all 
which  we  should  modestly  have  to  deny  that  we  possess  as  a 
constant  property  during  the  waking  life  ?     The  dream  has  a 


wonderful  poetry,  an  excellent  allegory,  an  incomparable 
humour,  and  a  charming  irony.  It  views  the  world  under  the 
guise  of  a  peculiar  idealisation,  and  often  raises  the  effect  of  its 
manifestations  into  the  most  ingenious  understanding  of  the 
essence  lying  at  its  basis.  It  represents  for  us  earthly  beauty 
in  true  heavenly  radiance,  the  sublime  in  the  highest  majesty, 
the  actually  frightful  in  the  most  gruesome  figure,  and  the 
ridiculous  in  the  indescribably  drastic  comical ;  and  at  times 
we  are  so  full  of  one  of  these  impressions  after  awakening  that 
we  imagine  that  such  a  thing  has  never  been  offered  to  us  by 
the  real  world." 

One  may  ask,  is  it  really  the  same  object  that  the  de- 
preciating remarks  and  these  inspired  praises  are  meant  for  ? 
Have  the  latter  overlooked  the  stupid  dreams  and  the  former 
the  thoughtful  and  ingenious  dreams  ?  And  if  both  kinds  do 
occur — that  is,  dreams  that  merit  to  be  judged  in  this  or  that 
manner — does  it  not  seem  idle  to  seek  the  psychological  character 
of  the  dream  ?  would  it  not  suffice  to  state  that  everything  is 
possible  in  the  dream,  from  the  lowest  depreciation  of  the 
psychic  life  to  a  raising  of  the  same  which  is  unusual  in  the 
waking  state  ?  As  convenient  as  this  solution  would  be  it  has 
this  against  it,  that  behind  the  efforts  of  all  dream  investigators, 
it  seems  to  be  presupposed  that  there  is  such  a  definable 
character  of  the  dream,  which  is  universally  valid  in  its  essen- 
tial features  and  which  must  eliminate  these  contradictions. 

It  is  unquestionable  that  the  psychic  capacities  of  the 
dream  have  found  quicker  and  warmer  recognition  in  that 
intellectual  period  which  now  lies  behind  us,  when  philosophy 
rather  than  exact  natural  science  ruled  intelligent  minds. 
Utterances  like  those  of  Schubert,  that  the  dream  frees  the 
mind  from  the  power  of  outer  nature,  that  it  liberates  the  soul 
from  the  chains  of  the  sensual,  and  similar  opinions  expressed 
by  the  younger  Fichte,*  and  others,  who  represent  the  dream 
as  a  soaring  up  of  the  psychic  life  to  a  higher  stage,  hardly 
seem  conceivable  to  us  to-day  ;  they  are  only  repeated  at 
present  by  mystics  and  devotees.  With  the  advance  of  the 
scientific  mode  of  thinking,  a  reaction  took  place  in  the  estima- 
tion of  the  dream.  It  is  really  the  medical  authors  who  are 
most  prone  to  underrate  the  psychic  activity  in  the  dream, 
*  Cf.  Ilaffner32  and  Spitta64. 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         53 

as  being  insignificant  and  invaluable,  whereas,  philosophers 
and  unprofessional  observers — amateur  psychologists — whose 
contributions  in  this  realm  can  surely  not  be  overlooked,  in 
better  agreement  with  the  popular  ideas,  have  mostly  adhered 
to  the  psychic  value  of  the  dream.  He  who  is  inclined  to  under- 
rate the  psychic  capacity  in  the  dream  prefers,  as  a  matter 
of  course,  the  somatic  exciting  sources  in  the  etiology  of  the 
dream  ;  he  who  leaves  to  the  dreaming  mind  the  greater  part 
of  its  capacities,  naturally  has  no  reason  for  not  also  admitting 
independent  stimuli  for  dreaming. 

Among  the  superior  activities  which,  even  on  sober  com- 
parison, one  is  tempted  to  ascribe  to  the  dream  life,  memory 
is  the  most  striking  ;  we  have  fully  discussed  the  frequent 
experiences  which  prove  this  fact.  Another  superiority  of 
the  dream  life,  frequently  extolled  by  the  old  authors,  viz. 
that  it  can  regard  itself  supreme  in  reference  to  distance  of 
time  and  space,  can  be  readily  recognised  as  an  illusion. 
This  superiority,  as  observed  by  Hildebrandt,35  is  only  illusional ; 
the  dream  takes  as  much  heed  of  time  and  space  as  the  waking 
thought,  and  this  because  it  is  only  a  form  of  thinking.  The 
dream  is  supposed  to  enjoy  still  another  advantage  in  reference 
to  time  ;  that  is,  it  is  independent  in  still  another  sense  of  the 
passage  of  time.  Dreams  like  the  guillotine  dream  of  Maury,48 
reported  above,  seem  to  show  that  the  dream  can  crowd 
together  more  perception  content  in  a  very  short  space  of  time 
than  can  be  controlled  by  our  psychic  activity  in  the  waking 
mind.  These  conclusions  have  been  controverted,  however, 
by  many  arguments  ;  the  essays  of  Le  Lorrain  45  and  Egger  20 
"  Concerning  the  apparent  duration  of  dreams  "  gave  rise  to  a 
long  and  interesting  discussion  which  has  probably  not  said 
the  last  word  upon  this  delicate  and  far-reaching  question. 

That  the  dream  has  the  ability  to  take  up  the  intellectual 
work  of  the  day  and  bring  to  a  conclusion  what  has  not  been 
settled  during  the  day,  that  it  can  solve  doubt  and  problems, 
and  that  it  may  become  the  source  of  new  inspiration  in  poets 
and  composers,  seems  to  be  indisputable,  as  is  shown  by  many 
reports  and  by  the  collection  compiled  by  Chabaneix.11  But 
even  if  there  be  no  dispute  as  to  the  facts,  nevertheless  their 
interpretation  is  open  in  principle  to  a  great  many  doubts. 

Finally  the  asserted  divinatory  power  of  the  dream  forms 


an  object  of  contention  in  which  hard  ^insurmountable  reflec- 
tion encounters  obstinate  and  continued  faith.  It  is  indeed  just 
that  we  should  refrain  from  denying  all  that  is  based  on  fact 
in  this  subject,  as  there  is  a  possibility  that  a  number  of  such 
cases  may  perhaps  be  explained  on  a  natural  psychological 

(/)  The  Ethical  Feelings  in  the  Dream. — For  reasons  which 
will  be  understood  only  after  cognisance  has  been  taken  of  my 
own  investigations  of  the  dream,  I  have  separated  from  the 
psychology  of  the  dream  the  partial  problem  whether  and  to 
what  extent  the  moral  dispositions  and  feelings  of  the  waking 
life  extend  into  the  dreams.  The  same  contradictions  which 
we  were  surprised  to  observe  in  the  authors'  descriptions  of  all 
the  other  psychic  capacities  strike  us  again  here.  Some 
affirm  decidedly  that  the  dream  knows  nothing  of  moral 
obligations  ;  others  as  decidedly  that  the  moral  nature  of  man 
remains  even  in  his  dream  life. 

A  reference  to  our  dream  experience  of  every  night  seems 
to  raise  the  correctness  of  the  first  assertion  beyond  doubt. 
Jessen  36  says  (p.  553)  :  "  Nor  does  one  become  better  or  more 
virtuous  in  the  dream  ;  on  the  contrary,  it  seems  that  con- 
science is  silent  in  the  dream,  inasmuch  as  one  feels  no  com- 
passion and  can  commit  the  worst  crimes,  such  as  theft, 
murder,  and  assassination,  with  perfect  indifference  and 
without  subsequent  remorse." 

Radestock  54  (p.  146)  says  :  "  It  is  to  be  noticed  that  in  the 
dream  the  associations  terminate  and  the  ideas  unite  without 
being  influenced  by  reflection  and  reason,  aesthetic  taste,  and 
moral  judgment ;  the  judgment  is  extremely  weak,  and  ethical 
indifference  reigns  supreme." 

Volkelt 72  (p.  23)  expresses  himself  as  follows  :  "  As  every 
one  knows,  the  sexual  relationship  in  the  dream  is  especially 
unbridled.  Just  as  the  dreamer  himself  is  shameless  in  the 
extreme,  and  wholly  lacking  moral  feeling  and  judgment,  so 
also  he  sees  others,  even  the  most  honoured  persons,  engaged 
in  actions  which  even  in  thought  he  would  blush  to  associate 
with  them  in  his  waking  state." 

Utterances  like  those  of  Schopenhauer,  that  in  the  dream 
every  person  acts  and  talks  in  accordance  with  his  character, 
form  the  sharpest  contrast  to  those  mentioned  above.     R,  P. 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         55 

Fischer  *  maintains  that  the  subjective  feelings  and  desires 
or  affects  and  passions  manifest  themselves  in  the  wilfulness 
of  the  dream  life,  and  that  the  moral  characteristics  of  a  person 
are  mirrored  in  his  dream. 

Haffner  32  (p.  25)  :  "  With  rare  exceptions  ...  a  virtuous 
person  will  be  virtuous  also  in  his  dreams  ;  he  will  resist 
temptation,  and  show  no  sympathy  for  hatred,  envy,  anger, 
and  all  other  vices ;  while  the  sinful  person  will,  as  a  rule,  also 
find  in  his  dreams  the  pictures  which  he  has  before  him  while 

Scholz  59  (p.  36)  :  "  In  the  dream  there  is  truth  ;  despite  all 
masking  in  pride  or  humility,  we  still  recognise  our  own  self. 
.  .  .  The  honest  man  does  not  commit  any  dishonourable 
offence  even  in  the  dream,  or,  if  this  does  occur,  he  is  terrified 
over  it  as  if  over  something  foreign  to  his  nature.  The  Roman 
emperor  who  ordered  one  of  his  subjects  to  be  executed  because 
he  dreamed  that  he  cut  off  the  emperor's  head,  was  not  wrong 
in  justifying  his  action  on  the  ground  that  he  who  has  such 
dreams  must  have  similar  thoughts  while  awake.  About  a 
thing  that  can  have  no  place  in  our  mind  we  therefore  say 
significantly  :    '  I  would  never  dream  of  such  a  thing.'  ' 

Pfaff,f  varying  a  familiar  proverb,  says  :  "  Tell  me  for  a 
time  your  dreams,  and  I  will  tell  you  what  you  are  within." 

The  short  work  of  Hildebrandt,35  from  which  I  have  already 
taken  so  many  quotations,  a  contribution  to  the  dream  problem 
as  complete  and  as  rich  in  thought  as  I  found  in  the  literature, 
places  the  problem  of  morality  in  the  dream  as  the  central 
point  of  its  interest.  For  Hildebrandt,  too,  it  is  a  strict  rule 
that  the  purer  the  life,  the  purer  the  dream ;  the  impurer  the 
former,  the  impurer  the  latter. 

The  moral  nature  of  man  remains  even  in  the  dream  : 
"  But  while  we  are  not  offended  nor  made  suspicious  by  an 
arithmetical  error  no  matter  how  obvious,  by  a  reversal  of 
science  no  matter  how  romantic,  or  by  an  anachronism  no 
matter  how  witty,  we  nevertheless  do  not  lose  sight  of  the 
difference  between  good  and  evil,  right  and  wrong,  virtue  and 
vice.    No  matter  how  much  of  what  follows  us  during  the 

*  Grundzüge  des  Systems  der  Anthropologie.  Erlangen,  1850  (quoted  by 

t  Das  Traumleben  und  seine  Deutung,  1868  (cited  by  Spitta,  p.  192). 


day  may  vanish  in  our  hours  of  sleep — Kant's  categorical 
imperative  sticks  to  our  heels  as  an  inseparable  companion 
from  whom  we  cannot  rid  ourselves  even  in  slumber.  .  .  . 
This  can  be  explained,  however,  only  by  the  fact  that  the 
fundamental  in  human  nature,  the  moral  essence,  is  too  firmly 
fixed  to  take  part  in  the  activity  of  the  kaleidoscopic  shaking  up 
to  which  phantasy,  reason,  memory,  and  other  faculties  of  the 
same  rank  succumb  in  the  dream  "  (p.  45,  &c). 

In  the  further  discussion  of  the  subject  we  find  remarkable 
distortion  and  inconsequence  in  both  groups  of  authors. 
Strictly  speaking,  interest  in  immoral  dreams  would  cease  for 
all  those  who  assert  that  the  moral  personality  of  the  person 
crumbles  away  in  the  dream.  They  could  just  as  calmly 
reject  the  attempt  to  hold  the  dreamer  responsible  for  his 
dreams,  and  to  draw  inferences  from  the  badness  of  his  dreams 
as  to  an  evil  strain  in  his  nature,  as  they  rejected  the  ap- 
parently similar  attempt  to  demonstrate  the  insignificance  of 
his  intellectual  life  in  the  waking  state  from  the  absurdity  of 
his  dreams.  The  others  for  whom  "  the  categorical  im- 
perative "  extends  also  into  the  dream,  would  have  to  accept 
full  responsibility  for  the  immoral  dreams  ;  it  would  only  be 
desirable  for  their  own  sake  that  their  own  objectionable 
dreams  should  not  lead  them  to  abandon  the  otherwise  firmly 
held  estimation  of  their  own  morality. 

Still  it  seems  that  no  one  knows  exactly  about  himself 
how  good  or  how  bad  he  is,  and  that  no  one  can  deny  the 
recollection  of  his  own  immoral  dreams.  For  besides  the 
opposition  already  mentioned  in  the  criticism  of  the  morality 
of  the  dream,  both  groups  of  authors  display  an  effort  to 
explain  the  origin  of  the  immoral  dream  and  a  new  opposition 
is  developed,  depending  on  whether  their  origin  is  sought  in 
the  functions  of  the  psychic  life  or  in  the  somatically  deter- 
mined injuries  to  this  life.  The  urgent  force  of  the  facts  then 
permits  the  representatives  of  the  responsibility,  as  well  as 
of  the  irresponsibility  of  the  dream  life,  to  agree  in  the  re- 
cognition of  a  special  psychic  source  for  the  immorality  of 

All  those  who  allow  the  continuance  of  the  morality  in 
the  dream  nevertheless  guard  against  accepting  full  responsi- 
bility for  their  dreams.     Haflner  32  says  (p.  24)  :  "  We  are  not 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         57 

responsible  for  dreams  because  the  basis  upon  which  alone  our 
life  has  truth  and  reality  is  removed  from  our  thoughts.  .  .  . 
Hence  there  can  be  no  dream  wishing  and  dream  acting,  no 
virtue  or  sin."  Still  the  person  is  responsible  for  the  sinful 
dream  in  so  far  as  he  brings  it  about  indirectly.  Just  as  in 
the  waking  state,  it  is  his  duty  to  cleanse  his  moral  mind, 
particularly  so  before  retiring  to  sleep. 

The  analysis  of  this  mixture  of  rejection  and  recognition 
of  responsibility  for  the  moral  content  of  the  dream  is  followed 
much  further  by  Hildebrandt.  After  specifying  that  the 
dramatic  manner  of  representation  in  the  dream,  the  crowding 
together  of  the  most  complicated  processes  of  deliberation  in 
the  briefest  period  of  time,  and  the  depreciation  and  the 
confusion  of  the  presentation  elements  in  the  dream  admitted 
by  him  must  be  recognised  as  unfavourable  to  the  immoral 
aspect  of  dreams  ;  he  nevertheless  confesses  that,  yielding  to 
the  most  earnest  reflection,  he  is  inclined  simply  to  deny  all 
responsibility  for  faults  and  dream  sins. 

(P.  49)  :  "  If  we  wish  to  reject  very  decisively  any  unjust 
accusation,  especially  one  that  has  reference  to  our  intentions 
and  convictions,  we  naturally  make  use  of  the  expression  :  I 
should  never  have  dreamed  of  such  a  thing.  By  this  we  mean 
to  say,  of  course,  that  we  consider  the  realm  of  the  dream  the 
last  and  remotest  place  in  which  we  are  to  be  held  responsible 
for  our  thoughts,  because  there  these  thoughts  are  only  loosely 
and  incoherently  connected  with  our  real  being,  so  that  we 
should  hardly  still  consider  them  as  our  own  ;  but  as  we  feel 
impelled  expressly  to  deny  the  existence  of  such  thoughts, 
even  in  this  realm,  we  thus  at  the  same  time  indirectly  admit 
that  our  justification  will  not  be  complete  if  it  does  not  reach 
to  that  point.  And  I  believe  that,  though  unconsciously,  we 
here  speak  the  language  of  truth." 

(P.  52)  :  "  No  dream  thought  can  be  imagined  whose  first 
motive  has  not  already  moved  through  the  mind  while  awake 
as  some  wish,  desire,  or  impulse."  Concerning  this  original 
impulse  we  must  say  that  the  dream  has  not  discovered  it — ■ 
it  has  only  imitated  and  extended  it,  it  has  only  elaborated 
a  bit  of  historical  material  which  it  has  found  in  us,  into 
dramatic  form  ;  it  enacts  the  words  of  the  apostle  :  He  who 
hates  his   brother    is    a    murderer.     And    whereas,    after    we 


awaken  and  become  conscious  of  our  moral  strength,  we  may 
smile  at  the  boldly  executed  structure  of  the  depraved  dream, 
the  original  formative  material,  nevertheless,  has  no  ridicu- 
lous side.  One  feels  responsible  for  the  transgressions  of  the 
dreamer,  not  for  the  whole  sum,  but  still  for  a  certain  percentage. 
"  In  this  sense,  which  is  difficult  to  impugn,  we  understand  the 
words  of  Christ :  Out  of  the  heart  come  evil  thoughts — for 
we  can  hardly  help  being  convinced  that  every  sin  committed 
in  the  dream  brings  with  it  at  least  a  vague  minimum  of 

Hildebrandt  thus  finds  the  source  of  the  immorality  of 
dreams  in  the  germs  and  indications  of  evil  impulses  which 
pass  through  our  minds  during  the  day  as  tempting  thoughts, 
and  he  sees  fit  to  add  these  immoral  elements  to  the  moral 
estimation  of  the  personality.  It  is  the  same  thoughts  and 
the  same  estimation  of  these  thoughts,  which,  as  we  know, 
have  caused  devout  and  holy  men  of  all  times  to  lament  that 
they  are  evil  sinners. 

There  is  certainly  no  reason  to  doubt  the  general  occurrence 
of  these  contrasting  presentations — in  most  men  and  even  also 
in  other  than  ethical  spheres.  The  judgment  of  these  at 
times  has  not  been  very  earnest.  In  Spitta  64  we  find  the  follow- 
ing relevant  expression  from  A.  Zeller  (Article  "  Irre  "  in  the 
Allgemeinen  Encyklopädie  der  Wissenchaften  of  Ersch  and 
Grüber,  p.  144)  :  "  The  mind  is  rarely  so  happily  organised 
as  to  possess  at  all  times  power  enough  not  to  be  disturbed, 
not  only  by  unessential  but  also  by  perfectly  ridiculous  ideas 
running  counter  to  the  usual  clear  trend  of  thought ;  indeed, 
the  greatest  thinkers  have  had  cause  to  complain  of  this  dream- 
like disturbing  and  painful  rabble  of  ideas,  as  it  destroys  their 
profoundest  reflection  and  their  most  sacred  and  earnest 
mental  work." 

A  clearer  fight  is  thrown  on  the  psychological  status  of 
this  idea  of  contrast  by  another  observation  of  Hildebrandt, 
that  the  dream  at  times  allows  us  to  glance  into  the  deep  and 
inmost  recesses  of  our  being,  which  are  generally  closed  to  us  in 
our  waking  state  (p.  55).  The  same  knowledge  is  revealed 
by  Kant  in  his  Anthropology,  when  he  states  that  the  dream 
exists  in  order  to  lay  bare  for  us  our  hidden  dispositions  and  to 
reveal  to  us  not  what  we  are,  but  what  we  might  have  been  if 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         59 

we  had  a  different  education.  Radestock  54  (p.  84)  says  that 
the  dream  often  only  reveals  to  us  what  we  do  not  wish  to 
admit  to  ourselves,  and  that  we  therefore  unjustly  condemn 
it  as  a  liar  and  deceiver.  That  the  appearance  of  impulses 
which  are  foreign  to  our  consciousness  is  merely  analogous 
to  the  already  familiar  disposition  which  the  dream  makes  of 
other  material  of  the  presentation,  which  is  either  absent  or 
plays  only  an  insignificant  part  in  the  waking  state,  has  been 
called  to  our  attention  by  observations  like  those  of  Benini,3 
who  says  :  "  Gerte  nostre  inclinazione  che  si  credevano  suffocate 
a  spente  da  un  pezzo,  si  ridestano  ;  passioni  vecchie  e  sepolte 
rivivono  ;  cose  e  persone  a  cui  non  pensiamo  mai,  ci  vengono 
dinanzi  "  (p.  149).  Volkelt 72  expresses  himself  in  a  similar 
way :  "  Even  presentations  which  have  entered  into  our 
consciousness  almost  unnoticed,  and  have  never  perhaps  been 
brought  out  from  oblivion,  often  announce  through  the 
dream  their  presence  in  the  mind  (p.  105).  Finally,  it  is  not 
out  of  place  to  mention  here  that,  according  to  Schleiermacher,61 
the  state  of  falling  asleep  is  accompanied  by  the  appearance 
of  undesirable  presentations  (pictures). 

We  may  comprise  under  "  undesirable  presentations  "  this 
entire  material  of  presentations,  the  occurrence  of  which 
excites  our  wonder  in  immoral  as  well  as  in  absurd  dreams. 
The  only  important  difference  consists  in  the  fact  that  our 
undesirable  presentations  in  the  moral  sphere  exhibit  an 
opposition  to  our  other  feelings,  whereas  the  others  simply 
appear  strange  to  us.  Nothing  has  been  done  so  far  to  enable 
us  to  remove  this  difference  through  a  more  penetrating 

But  what  is  the  significance  of  the  appearance  of  un- 
desirable presentations  in  the  dream  ?  What  inferences  may 
be  drawn  for  the  psychology  of  the  waking  and  dreaming 
mind  from  these  nocturnal  manifestations  of  contrasting 
ethical  impulses  %  We  may  here  note  a  new  diversity  of 
opinion,  and  once  more  a  different  grouping  of  the  authors. 
The  stream  of  thought  followed  by  Hildebrandt,  and  by 
others  who  represent  his  fundamental  view,  cannot  be  con- 
tinued in  any  other  way  than  by  ascribing  to  the  immoral 
impulses  a  certain  force  even  in  the  waking  state,  which,  to 
be  sure,  is  inhibited  from  advancing  to  action,  and  asserting 


that  something  falls  off  during  sleep,  which,  having  the  effect 
of  an  inhibition,  has  kept  us  from  noticing  the  existence  of 
such  an  impulse.  The  dream  thus  shows  the  real,  if  not  the 
entire  nature  of  man,  and  is  a  means  of  making  the  hidden 
psychic  life  accessible  to  our  understanding.  It  is  only  on 
such  assumption  that  Hildebrandt  can  attribute  to  the  dream  the 
role  of  monitor  who  calls  our  attention  to  the  moral  ravages  in 
the  soul,  just  as  in  the  opinion  of  physicians  it  can  announce  a 
hitherto  unobserved  physical  ailment.  Spitta,64  too,  cannot  be 
guided  by  any  other  conception  when  he  refers  to  the  stream  of 
excitement  which,  e.g.,  flows  in  upon  the  psyche  during  puberty, 
and  consoles  the  dreamer  by  saying  that  he  has  done  every- 
thing in  his  power  when  he  has  led  a  strictly  virtuous  life 
during  his  waking  state,  when  he  has  made  an  effort  to  suppress 
the  sinful  thoughts  as  often  as  they  arise,  and  has  kept  them 
from  maturing  and  becoming  actions.  According  to  this  con- 
ception, we  might  designate  the  "  undesirable  "  presentations 
as  those  that  are  "  suppressed "  during  the  day,  and  must 
recognise  in  their  appearance  a  real  psychic  phenomenon. 

If  we  followed  other  authors  we  would  have  no  right  to  the 
last  inference.  For  Jessen  36  the  undesirable  presentations  in 
the  dream  as  in  the  waking  state,  in  fever  and  other  deliria, 
merely  have  "  the  character  of  a  voluntary  activity  put  to 
rest  and  a  somewhat  mechanical  process  of  pictures  and 
presentations  produced  by  inner  impulses "  (p.  360).  An 
immoral  dream  proves  nothing  for  the  psychic  life  of  the  dreamer 
except  that  he  has  in  some  way  become  cognizant  of  the  ideas 
in  question  ;  it  is  surely  not  a  psychic  impulse  of  his  own. 
Another  author,  Maury,48  makes  us  question  whether  he,  too, 
does  not  attribute  to  the  dream  state  the  capacity  for  dividing 
the  psychic  activity  into  its  components  instead  of  destroying 
it  aimlessly.  He  speaks  as  follows  about  dreams  in  which  one 
goes  beyond  the  bounds  of  morality  :  "  Ce  sont  nos  penchants 
qui  parlent  et  qui  nous  font  agir,  sans  que  la  conscience  nous 
retienne,  bien  que  parfoit  eile  nous  avertisse.  J'ai  mes  defauts 
et  mes  penchants  vicieux  ;  a  l'etat  de  veille,  je  tache  de  lutter 
contre  eux,  et  il  m'arrive  assez  souvent  de  n'y  pas  succomber. 
Mais  dans  mes  songes  j'y  succombe  tou jours  ou  pour  mieux 
dire  j'agis,  par  leur  impulsion,  sans  crainte  et  sans  remords.  .  .  . 
Evidement  les  visions  qui  se  deroulent  devant  ma  pcnsee  et 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         61 

qui  constituent  le  reve,  me  sont  suggerees  par  les  incitations 
que  je  ressens  et  que  ma  volonte  absente  ne  cherche  pas  ä 
ref order"  (p.  113). 

If  one  believes  in  the  capacity  of  the  dream  to  reveal 
an  actually  existing  but  repressed  or  concealed  immoral  dis- 
position of  the  dreamer,  he  could  not  emphasize  his  opinion 
more  strongly  than  with  the  words  of  Maury  (p.  115)  :  "  En 
reve  l'homme  se  revele  done  tout  entier  ä  soi-meme  dans  sa 
nudite  et  sa  misere  natives.  Des  qu'il  suspend  l'exercice  de  sa 
volonte,  il  devient  le  jouet  de  toutes  les  passions  contre  les- 
quelles,  ä  l'etat  de  veille,  la  conscience,  le  sentiment  d'honneur, 
la  crainte  nous  dependent."  In  another  place  he  finds  the 
following  striking  words  (p.  462)  :  "  Dans  le  reve,  e'est  surtout 
l'homme  instinctif  que  se  revele.  .  .  .  L'homme  revient  pour 
ainsi  dire  a  l'etat  de  nature  quand  il  reve  ;  mais  moins  les  idees 
acquises  ont  penetre  dans  son  esprit,  plus  les  penchants  en 
disaccord  avec  elles  conservent  encore  sur  lui  d'innuence 
dans  le  reve."  He  then  mentions  as  an  example  that  his 
dreams  often  show  him  as  a  victim  of  just  those  superstitions 
which  he  most  violently  combats  in  his  writing. 

The  value  of  all  these  ingenious  observations  for  a  psycho- 
logical knowledge  of  the  dream  life,  however,  is  marred  by 
Maury  through  the  fact  that  he  refuses  to  recognise  in  the 
phenomena  so  correctly  observed  by  him  any  proof  of  the 
"  automatisme  psychologique  "  which  in  his  opinion  dominates 
the  dream  life.  He  conceives  this  automatism  as  a  perfect 
contrast  to  the  psychic  activity. 

A  passage  in  the  studies  on  consciousness  by  Strieker 77 
reads  :  "  The  dream  does  not  consist  of  delusions  merely  ;  if, 
e.g.,  one  is  afraid  of  robbers  in  the  dream,  the  robbers  are,  of 
course,  imaginary,  but  the  fear  is  real.  One's  attention  is 
thus  called  to  the  fact  that  the  effective  development  in  the 
dream  does  not  admit  of  the  judgment  which  one  bestows  upon 
the  rest  of  the  dream  content,  and  the  problem  arises  what 
part  of  the  psychic  processes  in  the  dream  may  be  real,  i.e. 
what  part  of  them  may  demand  to  be  enrolled  among  the 
psychic  processes  of  the  waking  state  ?  " 

(g)  Dream  Theories  and  Functions  of  the  Dream. — A  statement 
concerning  the  dream  which  as  far  as  possible  attempts  to 
explain  from  one  point  of  view  many  of  its  noted  characters,  and 


which  at  the  same  time  determines  the  relation  of  the  dream  to 
a  more  comprehensive  sphere  of  manifestations,  may  be  called 
a  theory  of  dreams.  Individual  theories  of  the  dream  will  be 
distinguished  from  one  another  through  the  fact  that  they 
raise  to  prominence  this  or  that  characteristic  of  the  dream, 
and  connect  explanations  and  relations  with  it.  It  will  not 
be  absolutely  necessary  to  derive  from  the  theory  a  function, 
i.e.  a  use  or  any  such  activity  of  the  dream,  but  our  expecta- 
tion, which  is  usually  adjusted  to  teleology,  will  nevertheless 
welcome  those  theories  which  promise  an  understanding  of 
the  function  of  the  dream. 

We  have  already  become  acquainted  with  many  concep- 
tions of  the  dream  which,  more  or  less,  merit  the  name  of  dream 
theories  in  this  sense.  The  belief  of  the  ancients  that  the 
dream  was  sent  by  the  gods  in  order  to  guide  the  actions  of 
man  was  a  complete  theory  of  the  dream  giving  information 
concerning  everything  in  the  dream  worth  knowing.  Since 
the  dream  has  become  an  object  of  biological  investigation  we 
have  a  greater  number  of  theories,  of  which,  however,  some 
are  very  incomplete. 

If  we  waive  completeness,  we  may  attempt  the  following 
loose  grouping  of  dream  theories  based  on  their  fundamental 
conception  of  the  degree  and  mode  of  the  psychic  activity  in 
the  dream  : — 

1.  Theories,  like  those  of  Delboeuf,16  which  allow  the  full 
psychic  activity  of  the  waking  state  to  continue  into  the 
dream.  Here  the  mind  does  not  sleep  ;  its  apparatus  remains 
intact,  and,  being  placed  under  the  conditions  different  from 
the  waking  state,  it  must  in  normal  activity  furnish  results 
different  from  those  of  the  waking  state.  In  these  theories 
it  is  a  question  whether  they  are  in  position  to  derive  the 
distinctions  between  dreaming  and  waking  thought  altogether 
from  the  determinations  of  the  sleeping  state.  They  moreover 
lack  a  possible  access  to  a  function  of  the  dream  ;  one  cannot 
understand  why  one  dreams,  why  the  complicated  mechanism 
of  the  psychic  apparatus  continues  to  play  even  when  it  is 
placed  under  conditions  for  which  it  is  not  apparently  adapted. 
There  remain  only  two  expedient  reactions — to  sleep  dream- 
lessly  or  to  awake  when  approached  by  disturbing  stimuli — 
instead  of  the  third,  that  of  dreaming. 


2.  Theories  which,  on  the  contrary,  assume  for  the  dream 
a  diminution  for  the  psychic  activity,  a  loosening  of  the  con- 
nections, and  an  impoverishment  in  available  material.  In 
accordance  with  these  theories,  one  must  assume  for  sleep  a 
psychological  character  entirely  different  from  the  one  given 
by  Delbceuf.  Sleep  extends  far  beyond  the  mind — it  does 
not  consist  merely  in  a  shutting  off  of  the  mind  from  the  outer 
world  ;  on  the  contrary,  it  penetrates  into  its  mechanism,  causing 
it  at  times  to  become  useless.  If  I  may  draw  a  comparison 
from  psychiatrical  material,  I  may  say  that  the  first  theories 
construct  the  dream  like  a  paranoia,  while  the  second  make 
it  after  the  model  of  a  dementia  or  an  amentia. 

The  theory  that  only  a  fragment  of  the  psychic  activity 
paralysed  by  sleep  comes  to  expression  is  by  far  the  favourite 
among  the  medical  writers  and  in  the  scientific  world.  As 
far  as  one  may  presuppose  a  more  general  interest  in  dream 
interpretation,  it  may  well  be  designated  as  the  ruling  theory 
of  the  dream.  It  is  to  be  emphasized  with  what  facility  this 
particular  theory  escapes  the  worst  rock  threatening  every 
dream  interpretation,  that  is  to  say,  being  shipwrecked  upon 
one  of  the  contrasts  embodied  in  the  dream.  As  this  theory 
considers  the  dream  the  result  of  a  partial  waking  (or  as 
Herbart's  Psychology  of  the  dream  says,  "  a  gradual,  partial, 
and  at  the  same  time  very  anomalous  waking  "),  it  succeeds  in 
covering  the  entire  series  of  inferior  activities  in  the  dream 
which  reveal  themselves  in  its  absurdities,  up  to  the  full  con- 
centration of  mental  activity,  by  following  a  series  of  states 
which  become  more  and  more  awake  until  they  reach  full 

One  who  finds  the  psychological  mode  of  expression  indis- 
pensable, or  who  thinks  more  scientifically,  will  find  this  theory 
of  the  dream  expressed  in  the  discussion  of  Binz  4  (p.  43)  : — 

"  This  state  [of  numbness],  however,  gradually  approaches 
its  end  in  the  early  morning  hours.  The  accumulated  material 
of  fatigue  in  the  albumen  of  the  brain  gradually  becomes 
less.  It  is  gradually  decomposed  or  carried  away  by  the 
constantly  flowing  circulation.  Here  and  there  some  masses 
of  cells  can  be  distinguished  as  awake,  while  all  around 
everything  still  remains  in  a  state  of  torpidity.  The  isolated 
work  of  the  individual  groups  now  appears  before  our  clouded 


consciousness,  which  lacks  the  control  of  other  parts  of  the 
brain  governing  the  associations.  Hence  the  pictures  created, 
which  mostly  correspond  to  the  objective  impressions  of  the 
recent  past,  fit  with  each  other  in  a  wild  and  irregular  manner. 
The  number  of  the  brain  cells  set  free  becomes  constantly- 
greater,  the  irrationality  of  the  dream  constantly  less." 

The  conception  of  the  dream  as  an  incomplete,  partial 
waking  state,  or  traces  of  its  influence,  can  surely  be  found 
among  all  modern  physiologists  and  philosophers.  It  is  most 
completely  represented  by  Maury.48  It  often  seems  as  if  this 
author  represented  to  himself  the  state  of  being  awake  or 
asleep  in  anatomical  regions  ;  at  any  rate  it  appears  to  him 
that  an  anatomical  province  is  connected  with  a  definite 
psychic  function.  I  may  here  merely  mention  that  if  the 
theory  of  partial  waking  could  be  confirmed,  there  would 
remain  much  to  be  accomplished  in  its  elaboration. 

Naturally  a  function  of  the  dream  cannot  be  found  in  this 
conception  of  the  dream  life.  On  the  contrary,  the  criticism 
of  the  status  and  importance  of  the  dream  is  consistently 
uttered  in  this  statement  of  Binz  (p.  357)  :  "  All  the  facts,  as 
we  see,  urge  us  to  characterise  the  dream  as  a  physical  process 
in  all  cases  useless,  in  many  cases  even  morbid." 

The  expression  "  physical "  in  reference  to  the  dream, 
which  owes  its  prominence  to  this  author,  points  in  more  than 
one  direction.  In  the  first  place,  it  refers  to  the  etiology  of 
the  dream,  which  was  especially  clear  to  Binz,  as  he  studied 
the  experimental  production  of  dreams  by  the  administration 
of  poisons.  It  is  certainly  in  keeping  with  this  kind  of  dream 
theory  to  ascribe  the  incitement  of  the  dream  exclusively  to 
somatic  origin  whenever  possible.  Presented  in  the  most 
extreme  form,  it  reads  as  follows  :  After  we  have  put  ourselves 
to  sleep  by  removing  the  stimuli,  there  would  be  no  need  and 
no  occasion  for  dreaming  until  morning,  when  the  gradual 
awakening  through  the  incoming  stimuli  would  be  reflected  in 
the  phenomenon  of  dreaming.  But  as  a  matter  of  fact,  it  is 
not  possible  to  keep  sleep  free  from  stimuli ;  just  as  Mephisto 
complains  about  the  germs  of  life,  so  stimuli  reach  the  sleeper 
from  every  side — from  without,  from  within,  and  even  from 
certain  bodily  regions  which  never  give  us  any  concern  during 
the   waking   state.     Thus   sleep    is   disturbed ;     the   mind   is 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         65 

aroused,  now  by  this,  now  by  that  little  thing,  and  functionates 
for  a  while  with  the  awakened  part  only  to  be  glad  to  fall 
asleep  again.  The  dream  is  a  reaction  to  the  stimulus  causing 
a  disturbance  of  sleep — to  be  sure,  it  is  a  purely  superfluous 

To  designate  the  dream  as  a  physical  process,  which  for 
all  that  remains  an  activity  of  the  mental  organ,  has  still 
another  sense.  It  is  meant  to  dispute  the  dignity  of  a  psychic 
process  for  the  dream.  The  application  to  the  dream  of  the 
very  old  comparison  of  the  "  ten  fingers  of  a  musically  ignorant 
person  running  over  the  keyboard  of  an  instrument,"  perhaps 
best  illustrates  in  what  estimation  the  dream  activity  has  been 
held  by  the  representatives  of  exact  science.  In  this  sense  it 
becomes  something  entirely  untranslatable,  for  how  could  the 
ten  fingers  of  an  unmusical  player  produce  any  music  1 

The  theory  of  partial  wakefulness  has  not  passed  without 
objection  even  in  early  times.  Thus  Burdach,8  in  1830,  says  : 
"  If  we  say  that  the  dream  is  a  partial  wakefulness,  in  the 
first  place,  we  explain  thereby  neither  the  waking  nor  the 
sleeping  state  ;  secondly,  this  expresses  nothing  more  than 
that  certain  forces  of  the  mind  are  active  in  the  dream  while 
others  are  at  rest.  But  such  irregularities  take  place  throughout 
life  .  .  ."  (p.  483). 

Among  extant  dream  theories  which  consider  the  dream  a 
"  physical  "  process,  there  is  one  very  interesting  conception 
of  the  dream,  first  propounded  by  Robert 55  in  1866,  which  is 
attractive  because  it  assigns  to  the  dream  a  function  or  a  useful 
end.  As  a  basis  for  this  theory,  Robert  takes  from  observa- 
tion two  facts  which  we  have  already  discussed  in  our  con- 
sideration of  the  dream  material  (see  p.  13).  These  facts  are  : 
that  one  very  often  dreams  about  the  insignificant  impressions 
of  the  day,  and  that  one  rarely  carries  over  into  the  dream  the 
absorbing  interests  of  the  day.  Robert  asserts  as  exclusively 
correct,  that  things  which  have  been  fully  settled  never  become 
dream  inciters,  but  only  such  things  as  are  incomplete  in  the 
mind  or  touch  it  fleetingly  (p.  11).  "We  cannot  usually 
explain  our  dreams  because  their  causes  are  to  be  found  in 
sensory  impressions  of  the  preceding  day  which  have  not  attained 
sufficient  recognition  by  the  dreamer"  The  conditions  allowing 
an  impression  to  reach  the  dream  are  therefore,  either  that 



this  impression  has  been  disturbed  in  its  elaboration,  or  that 
being  too  insignificant  it  has  no  claim  to  such  elaboration. 

Robert  therefore  conceives  the  dream  "as  a  physical 
process  of  elimination  which  has  reached  to  cognition  in  the 
psychic  manifestation  of  its  reaction."  Dreams  are  elimina- 
tions of  thoughts  nipped  in  the  bud.  "  A  man  deprived  of  the 
capacity  for  dreaming  would  surely  in  time  become  mentally 
unbalanced,  because  an  immense  number  of  unfinished  and 
unsolved  thoughts  and  superficial  impressions  would  accumu- 
late in  his  brain,  under  the  pressure  of  which  there  would  be 
crushed  all  that  should  be  incorporated  as  a  finished  whole 
into  memory."  The  dream  acts  as  a  safety-valve  for  the  over- 
burdened brain.  Dreams  possess  healing  and  unburdening 
properties  (p.  32). 

It  would  be  a  mistake  to  ask  Robert  how  representation  in 
the  dream  can  bring  about  an  unburdening  of  the  mind.  The 
author  apparently  concluded  from  those  two  peculiarities  of 
the  dream  material  that  during  sleep  such  ejection  of  worthless 
impressions  is  effected  as  a  somatic  process,  and  that  dreaming 
is  not  a  special  psychic  process  but  only  the  knowledge  that 
we  receive  of  such  elimination.  To  be  sure  an  elimination  is 
not  the  only  thing  that  takes  place  in  the  mind  during  sleep. 
Robert  himself  adds  that  the  incitements  of  the  day  are  also 
elaborated,  and  "  what  cannot  be  eliminated  from  the  un- 
digested thought  material  lying  in  the  mind  becomes  con- 
nected by  threads  of  thought  borrowed  from  the  phantasy  into  a 
finished  whole,  and  thus  enrolled  in  the  memory  as  a  harmless 
phantasy  picture  "  (p.  23). 

But  it  is  in  his  criticism  of  the  dream  sources  that  Robert 
appears  most  bluntly  opposed  to  the  ruling  theory.  Whereas 
according  to  the  existing  theory  there  would  be  no  dream  if 
the  outer  and  inner  sensory  stimuli  did  not  repeatedly  wake 
the  mind,  according  to  Robert  the  impulse  to  dream  lies  in 
the  mind  itself.  It  lies  in  the  overcharging  which  demands 
discharge,  and  Robert  judges  with  perfect  consistency  when 
he  maintains  that  the  causes  determining  the  dream  which 
depend  on  the  physical  state  assume  a  subordinate  rank,  and 
could  not  incite  dreams  in  a  mind  containing  no  material  for 
dream  formation  taken  from  waking  consciousness.  It  is 
admitted,  however,  that  the  phantasy  pictures  originating  in 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         67 

the  depths  of  the  mind  can  be  influenced  by  the  nervous 
stimuli  (p.  48).  Thus,  according  to  Robert,  the  dream  is  not 
quite  so  dependent  on  the  somatic  element.  To  be  sure,  it  is 
not  a  psychic  process,  and  has  no  place  among  the  psychic 
processes  of  the  waking  state ;  it  is  a  nocturnal  somatic 
process  in  the  apparatus  devoted  to  mental  activity,  and  has 
a  function  to  perform,  viz.  to  guard  this  apparatus  against 
overstraining,  or,  if  the  comparison  may  be  changed,  to  cleanse 
the  mind. 

Another  author,  Yves  Delage,15  bases  his  theory  on  the 
same  characteristics  of  the  dream,  which  become  clear  in  the 
selection  of  the  dream  material,  and  it  is  instructive  to  observe 
how  a  slight  turn  in  the  conception  of  the  same  things  gives 
a  final  result  of  quite  different  bearing. 

Delage,  after  having  lost  through  death  a  person  very  dear 
to  him,  found  from  his  own  experience  that  we  do  not  dream 
of  what  occupies  us  intently  during  the  day,  or  that  we  begin 
to  dream  of  it  only  after  it  is  overshadowed  by  other  interests 
of  the  day.  His  investigations  among  other  persons  corro- 
borated the  universality  of  this  state  of  affairs.  Delage 
makes  a  nice  observation  of  this  kind,  if  it  turn  out  to  be 
generally  true,  about  the  dreaming  of  newly  married  people  : 
"  S'ils  ont  ete  fortement  epris,  presque  jamais  ils  n'ont  reve 
Fun  de  l'autre  avant  le  mariage  ou  pendant  la  lune  de  miel ; 
et  s'ils  ont  reve  d'amour  c'est  pour  etre  infideles  avec  quelque 
personne  indifferente  ou  odieuse."  But  what  does  one  dream 
of  ?  Delage  recognises  that  the  material  occurring  in  our 
dreams  consists  of  fragments  and  remnants  of  impressions 
from  the  days  preceding  and  former  times.  All  that  appears 
in  our  dreams,  what  at  first  we  may  be  inclined  to  consider 
creations  of  the  dream  life,  proves  on  more  thorough  investiga- 
tion to  be  unrecognised  reproductions,  "  souvenir  inconscient." 
But  this  presentation  material  shows  a  common  character ;  it 
originates  from  impressions  which  have  probably  affected 
our  senses  more  forcibly  than  our  mind,  or  from  which  the 
attention  has  been  deflected  soon  after  their  appearance.  The 
less  conscious,  and  at  the  same  time  the  stronger  the  impression, 
the  more  prospect  it  has  of  playing  a  part  in  the  next  dream. 

These  are  essentially  the  same  two  categories  of  impressions, 
the  insignificant  and  the  unadjusted,  which  were  emphasized 


by  Robert,55  but  Delage  changes  the  connection  by  assuming 
that  these  impressions  become  the  subject  of  dreams,  not 
because  they  are  indifferent,  but  because  they  are  unadjusted. 
The  insignificant  impressions,  too,  are  in  a  way  not  fully  ad- 
justed ;  they,  too,  are  from  their  nature  as  new  impressions 
"  autant  de  ressorts  tendus,"  which  will  be  relaxed  during 
sleep.  Still  more  entitled  to  a  role  in  the  dream  than  the  weak 
and  almost  unnoticed  impression  is  a  strong  impression  which 
has  been  accidentally  detained  in  its  elaboration  or  intentionally 
repressed.  The  psychic  energy  accumulated  during  the  day 
through  inhibition  or  suppression  becomes  the  main-spring 
of  the  dream  at  night. 

Unfortunately  Delage  stops  here  in  his  train  of  thought ; 
he  can  ascribe  only  the  smallest  part  to  an  independent  psychic 
activity  in  the  dream,  and  thus  in  his  dream  theory  reverts  to 
the  ruling  doctrine  of  a  partial  sleep  of  the  brain  :  "  En  somme 
le  reve  est  le  produit  de  la  pensee  errante,  sans  but  et  sans 
direction,  se  fixant  successivement  sur  les  souvenirs,  qui  ont 
garde  assez  d'intensite  pour  se  placer  sur  sa  route  et  Farreter 
au  passage,  etablissant  entre  eux  un  Hen  tantot  faible  et 
indecis,  tantot  plus  fort  et  plus  serre,  selon  que  l'activite 
actuelle  du  cerveau  est  plus  ou  moins  abolie  par  le  sommeil." 

In  a  third  group  we  may  include  those  dream  theories 
which  ascribe  to  the  dreaming  mind  the  capacity  and  pro- 
pensity for  a  special  psychic  activity,  which  in  the  waking 
state  it  can  accomplish  either  not  at  all  or  only  in  an  imperfect 
manner.  From  the  activity  of  these  capacities  there  usually 
results  a  useful  function  of  the  dream.  The  dignity  bestowed 
upon  the  dream  by  older  psychological  authors  falls  chiefly 
in  this  category.  I  shall  content  myself,  however,  with  quoting, 
in  their  place,  the  assertions  of  Burdach,8  by  virtue  of  which 
the  dream  "  is  the  natural  activity  of  the  mind,  which  is  not 
limited  by  the  force  of  the  individuality,  not  disturbed  by  self- 
consciousness  and  not  directed  by  self-determination,  but  is 
the  state  of  life  of  the  sensible  central  point  indulging  in  free 
play  "  (p.  480). 

Burdach  and  others  apparently  consider  this  revelling  in 
the  free  use  of  one's  own  powers  as  a  state  in  which  the  mind 
refreshes  itself  and  takes  on  new  strength  for  the  day  work, 
something  after  the  manner  of  a  vacation  holiday,     Burdach, 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         69 

therefore,  cites  with  approval  the  admirable  words  in  which 
the  poet  Novalis  lauds  the  sway  of  the  dream  :  "  The  dream 
is  a  bulwark  against  the  regularity  and  commonness  of  life, 
a  free  recreation  of  the  fettered  phantasy,  in  which  it  mixes 
together  all  the  pictures  of  life  and  interrupts  the  continued 
earnestness  of  grown-up  men  with  a  joyous  children's  play. 
Without  the  dream  we  should  surely  age  earlier,  and  thus  the 
dream  may  be  considered  perhaps  not  a  gift  directly  from 
above,  but  a  delightful  task,  a  friendly  companion,  on  our 
pilgrimage  to  the  grave." 

The  refreshing  and  curative  activity  of  the  dream  is  even 
more  impressively  depicted  by  Purkinje.53  "  The  productive 
dreams  in  particular  would  perform  these  functions.  They 
are  easy  plays  of  the  imagination,  which  have  no  connection 
with  the  events  of  the  day.  The  mind  does  not  wish  to  con- 
tinue the  tension  of  the  waking  life,  but  to  release  it  and  re- 
cuperate from  it.  It  produces,  in  the  first  place,  conditions 
opposed  to  those  of  the  waking  state.  It  cures  sadness  through 
joy,  worry  through  hope  and  cheerfully  distracting  pictures, 
hatred  through  love  and  friendliness,  and  fear  through  courage 
and  confidence  ;  it  calms  doubt  through  conviction  and  firm 
belief,  and  vain  expectations  through  realisation.  Many 
sore  spots  in  the  mind,  which  the  day  keeps  continually  open, 
sleep  heals  by  covering  them  and  guarding  against  fresh 
excitement.  Upon  this  the  curative  effect  of  time  is  partially 
based."  We  all  feel  that  sleep  is  beneficial  to  the  psychic 
life,  and  the  vague  surmise  of  the  popular  consciousness  ap- 
parently cannot  be  robbed  of  the  notion  that  the  dream  is 
one  of  the  ways  in  which  sleep  distributes  its  benefits. 

The  most  original  and  most  far-reaching  attempt  to  explain 
the  dream  as  a  special  activity  of  the  mind,  which  can  freely 
display  itself  only  in  the  sleeping  state,  was  the  one  under- 
taken by  Schemer  58  in  1861.  Schemer's  book,  written  in  a 
heavy  and  bombastic  style,  inspired  by  an  almost  intoxicated 
enthusiasm  for  the  subject,  which  must  repel  us  unless  it  can 
carry  us  away  with  it,  places  so  many  difficulties  in  the  way 
of  an  analysis  that  we  gladly  resort  to  the  clearer  and  shorter 
description  in  which  the  philosopher  Volkelt 72  presents 
Schemer's  theories  :  "  From  the  mystic  conglomerations  and 
from  all  the  gorgeous  and  magnificent  billows  there  indeed 


flashes  and  irradiates  an  ominous  light  of  sense,  but  the  path 
of  the  philosopher  does  not  thereby  become  clearer."  Such 
is  the  criticism  of  Schemer's  description  from  one  of  his  own 

Schemer  does  not  belong  to  those  authors  who  allow  the 
mind  to  take  along  its  undiminished  capacities  into  the  dream 
life.  He  indeed  explains  how  in  the  dream  the  centrality  and 
the  spontaneous  energy  of  the  ego  are  enervated,  how  cogni- 
tion, feeling,  will,  and  imagination  become  changed  through 
this  decentralisation,  and  how  no  true  mental  character,  but 
only  the  nature  of  a  mechanism,  belongs  to  the  remnants  of 
these  psychic  forces.  But  instead,  the  activity  of  the  mind 
designated  as  phantasy,  freed  from  all  rational  domination 
and  hence  completely  uncontrolled,  rises  in  the  dream  to 
absolute  supremacy.  To  be  sure,  it  takes  the  last  building 
stones  from  the  memory  of  the  waking  state,  but  it  builds  with 
them  constructions  as  different  from  the  structures  of  the 
waking  state  as  day  and  night.  It  shows  itself  in  the  dream 
not  only  reproductive,  but  productive.  Its  peculiarities  give 
to  the  dream  life  its  strange  character.  It  shows  a  preference 
for  the  unlimited,  exaggerated,  and  prodigious,  but  because 
freed  from  the  impeding  thought  categories,  it  gains  a  greater 
flexibility  and  agility  and  new  pleasure ;  it  is  extremely 
sensitive  to  the  delicate  emotional  stimuli  of  the  mind  and  to 
the  agitating  affects,  and  it  rapidly  recasts  the  inner  life  into 
the  outer  plastic  clearness.  The  dream  phantasy  lacks  the 
language  of  ideas  ;  what  it  wishes  to  say,  it  must  clearly  depict ; 
and  as  the  idea  now  acts  strongly,  it  depicts  it  with  the  richness, 
force,  and  immensity  of  the  mode  in  question.  Its  language, 
however  simple  it  may  be,  thus  becomes  circumstantial, 
cumbersome,  and  heavy.  Clearness  of  language  is  rendered 
especially  difficult  by  the  fact  that  it  shows  a  dislike  for  ex- 
pressing an  object  by  its  own  picture,  but  prefers  a  strange 
picture,  if  the  latter  can  only  express  that  moment  of  the 
object  which  it  wishes  to  describe.  This  is  the  symbolising 
activity  of  the  phantasy.  ...  It  is,  moreover,  of  great 
significance  that  the  dream  phantasy  copies  objects  not  in 
detail,  but  only  in  outline  and  even  this  in  the  broadest 
manner.  Its  paintings,  therefore,  appear  ingeniously  light  and 
graceful.     The  dream  phantasy,  however,   does  not  stop  at 

LITERATURE    OF   THE   DREAM         71 

the  mere  representation  of  the  object,  but  is  impelled  from 
within  to  mingle  with  the  object  more  or  less  of  the  dream  ego, 
and  in  this  way  to  produce  an  action.  The  visual  dream,  e.g., 
depicts  gold  coins  in  the  street ;  the  dreamer  picks  them  up, 
rejoices,  and  carries  them  away. 

According  to  Schemer,  the  material  upon  which  the  dream 
phantasy  exerts  its  artistic  activity  is  preponderately  that  of 
the  organic  sensory  stimuli  which  are  so  obscure  during  the 
day  (comp.  p.  29)  ;  hence  the  phantastic  theory  of  Schemer, 
and  the  perhaps  over-sober  theories  of  Wundt  and  other  physio- 
logists, though  otherwise  diametrically  opposed,  agree  perfectly 
in  their  assumption  of  the  dream  sources  and  dream  excitants. 
But  whereas,  according  to  the  physiological  theory,  the  psychic 
reaction  to  the  inner  physical  stimuli  becomes  exhausted  with 
the  awakening  of  any  ideas  suitable  to  these  stimuli,  these 
ideas  then  by  way  of  association  calling  to  their  aid  other  ideas, 
and  with  this  stage  the  chain  of  psychic  processes  seeming  to 
terminate  according  to  Schemer,  the  physical  stimuli  only 
supply  the  psychic  force  with  a  material  which  it  may  render 
subservient  to  its  phantastic  intentions.  For  Schemer  the 
formation  of  the  dream  only  commences  where  in  the  con- 
ception of  others  it  comes  to  an  end. 

The  treatment  of  the  physical  stimuli  by  the  dream  phantasy 
surely  cannot  be  considered  purposeful.  The  phantasy  plays 
a  tantalising  game  with  them,  and  represents  the  organic 
source  which  gives  origin  to  the  stimuli  in  the  correspondent 
dream,  in  any  plastic  symbolism.  Indeed  Schemer  holds  the 
opinion,  not  shared  by  Volkelt  and  others,  that  the  dream 
phantasy  has  a  certain  favourite  representation  for  the  entire 
organism  ;  this  representation  would  be  the  house.  Fortu- 
nately, however,  it  does  not  seem  to  limit  itself  in  its  presenta- 
tion to  this  material ;  it  may  also  conversely  employ  a  whole 
series  of  houses  to  designate  a  single  organ,  e.g.,  very  long  rows 
of  houses  for  the  intestinal  excitation.  On  other  occasions 
particular  parts  of  the  house  actually  represent  particular  parts 
of  the  body,  as  e.g.,  in  the  headache-dream,  the  ceiling  of  the 
room  (which  the  dream  sees  covered  with  disgusting  reptile- 
like spiders)  represents  the  head. 

Quite  irrespective  of  the  house  symbolism,  any  other 
suitable  object  may  be  employed  for  the  representation  of 


these  parts  of  the  body  which  excite  the  dream.  "  Thus  the 
breathing  lungs  rind  their  symbol  in  the  flaming  stove  with  its 
gaseous  roaring,  the  heart  in  hollow  boxes  and  baskets,  the 
bladder  in  round,  bag-shaped,  or  simply  hollowed  objects. 
The  male  dream  of  sexual  excitement  makes  the  dreamer  find 
in  the  street  the  upper  portion  of  a  clarinette,  next  to  it  the 
same  part  of  a  tobacco  pipe,  and  next  to  that  a  piece  of  fur. 
The  clarinette  and  tobacco  pipe  represent  the  approximate 
shape  of  the  male  sexual  organ,  while  the  fur  represents  the 
pubic  hau.  Li  the  female  sexual  dream  the  tightness  of  the 
closely  approximated  thighs  may  be  symbolised  by  a  narrow 
courtyard  surrounded  by  houses,  and  the  vagina  by  a  very 
narrow,  slippery  and  soft  footpath,  leading  through  the  court- 
yard, upon  which  the  dreamer  is  obliged  to  walk,  in  order 
perhaps  to  carry  a  letter  to  a  gentleman  "  (Volkelt,  p.  39).  It 
is  particularly  noteworthy  that  at  the  end  of  such  a  physically 
exciting  dream,  the  phantasy,  as  it  were,  unmasks  by  repre- 
senting the  exciting  organ  or  its  function  unconcealed.  Thus 
the  "  tooth-exciting  dream  "  usually  ends  with  the  dreamer 
taking  a  tooth  out  of  his  mouth. 

The  dream  phantasy  may,  however,  not  only  direct  its  atten- 
tion to  the  shape  of  the  exciting  organ,  but  it  may  also  make  the 
substance  contained  therein  the  object  of  the  synibolisation. 
Thus  the  dream  of  intestinal  excitement,  e.g.,  may  lead  us 
through  muddy  streets,  the  bladder-exciting  dream  to  foaming 
water.  Or  the  stimulus  itself,  the  manner  of  its  excitation,  and 
the  object  it  covets,  are  represented  symbolically,  or  the  dream 
ego  enters  into  a  concrete  combination  with  the  synibolisation 
of  its  own  state,  as  e.g.,  when,  in  the  case  of  painful  stimuli,  we 
struggle  desperately  with  vicious  dogs  or  raging  bulls,  or  when 
in  the  sexual  dream  the  dreamer  sees  herself  pursued  by  a  naked 
man.  Disregarding  all  the  possible  prolixity  of  elaboration,  a 
symbolising  phantastic  activity  remains  as  the  central  force  of 
every  dream.  Volkelt,72  in  his  finely  and  fervently  written  book, 
next  attempted  to  penetrate  further  into  the  character  of  this 
phantasy  and  to  assign  to  the  psychical  activity  thus  recognised, 
its  position  in  a  system  of  philosophical  ideas,  which,  however, 
remains  altogether  too  difficult  of  comprehension  for  any  one 
who  is  not  prepared  by  previous  schooling  for  the  sympathetic 
comprehension  of  philosophical  modes  of  thinking. 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         73 

Scherner  connects  no  useful  function  with  the  activity  of 
the  symbolising  phantasy  in  dreams.  In  the  dream  the  psyche 
plays  with  the  stimuli  at  its  disposal.  One  might  presume 
that  it  plays  in  an  improper  manner.  One  might  also  ask  us 
whether  our  thorough  study  of  Schemer's  dream  theory,  the 
arbitrariness  and  deviation  of  which  from  the  rules  of  all 
investigation  are  only  too  obvious,  can  lead  to  any  useful  results. 
It  would  then  be  proper  for  us  to  forestall  the  rejection  of 
Schemer's  theory  without  examination  by  saying  that  this 
would  be  too  arrogant.  This  theory  is  built  up  on  the  im- 
pression received  from  his  dreams  by  a  man  who  paid  great 
attention  to  them,  and  who  would  appear  to  be  personally  very 
well  fitted  to  trace  obscure  psychic  occurrences.  Furthermore 
it  treats  a  subject  which,  for  thousands  of  years,  has  appeared 
mysterious  to  humanity  though  rich  in  its  contents  and  re- 
lations ;  and  for  the  elucidation  of  which  stern  science,  as  it 
confesses  itself,  has  contributed  nothing  beyond  attempting, 
in  entire  opposition  to  popular  sentiment,  to  deny  the  substance 
and  significance  of  the  object.  Finally,  let  us  frankly  admit 
that  apparently  we  cannot  avoid  the  phantastical  in  our 
attempts  to  elucidate  the  dream.  There  are  also  phantastic 
ganglia  cells  ;  the  passage  cited  on  p.  63  from  a  sober  and 
exact  investigator  like  Binz,4  which  depicts  how  the  aurora 
of  awakening  flows  along  the  dormant  cell  masses  of  the 
cerebrum,  is  not  inferior  in  fancifulness  and  in  improbability 
to  Schemer's  attempts  at  interpretation.  I  hope  to  be  able 
to  demonstrate  that  there  is  something  actual  underlying  the 
latter,  though  it  has  only  been  indistinctly  observed  and  does 
not  possess  the  character  of  universality  entitling  it  to  the 
claim  of  a  dream  theory.  For  the  present,  Schemer's  theory 
of  the  dream,  in  its  contrast  to  the  medical  theory,  may  perhaps 
lead  us  to  realise  between  what  extremes  the  explanation  of 
dream  life  is  still  unsteadily  vacillating. 

(h)  Relations  between  the  Dream  and  Mental  Diseases. — When 
we  speak  of  the  relation  of  the  dream  to  mental  disturbances, 
we  may  think  of  three  different  things  :  (1)  Etiological  and 
clinical  relations,  as  when  a  dream  represents  or  initiates  a 
psychotic  condition,  or  when  it  leaves  such  a  condition  behind 
it.  (2)  Changes  to  which  the  dream  life  is  subjected  in  mental 
diseases.     (3)    Inner   relations    between    the    dream    and    the 


psychoses,  analogies  indicating  an  intimate  relationship. 
These  manifold,  relations  between  the  two  series  of  phenomena 
have  been  a  favourite  theme  of  medical  authors  in  the  earlier 
periods  of  medical  science — and  again  in  recent  times — as  we 
learn  from  the  literature  on  the  subject  gathered  from  Spitta,64 
Radestock,54  Maury,48  and  Tissie.68  Sante  de  Sanctis  has 
lately  directed  his  attention  to  this  relationship.  For  the 
purposes  of  our  discussion  it  will  suffice  merely  to  glance  at 
this  important  subject. 

In  regard  to  the  clinical  and  etiological  relations  between 
the  dream  and  the  psychoses,  I  will  report  the  following 
observations  as  paradigms.  Hohnbaum  asserts  (see  Krauss, 
p.  39),  that  the  first  attack  of  insanity  frequently  originates 
in  an  anxious  and  terrifying  dream,  and  that  the  ruling  idea 
has  connection  with  this  dream.  Sante  de  Sanctis  adduces 
similar  observations  in  paranoiacs,  and  declares  the  dream 
to  be,  in  some  of  them,  the  "  vraie  cause  determinante  de  la 
folie."  The  psychosis  may  come  to  life  all  of  a  sudden  with  the 
dream  causing  and  containing  the  explanation  for  the  mental 
disturbances,  or  it  may  slowly  develop  through  further  dreams 
that  have  yet  to  struggle  against  doubt.  In  one  of  de  Sanctis's 
cases,  the  affecting  dream  was  accompanied  by  light  hysterical 
attacks,  which  in  their  turn  were  followed  by  an  anxious, 
melancholic  state.  Fere  (cited  by  Tissie)  refers  to  a  dream 
which  caused  an  hysterical  paralysis.  Here  the  dream  is 
offered  us  as  an  etiology  of  mental  disturbance,  though  we 
equally  consider  the  prevailing  conditions  when  we  declare 
that  the  mental  disturbance  shows  its  first  manifestation  in 
dream  life,  that  it  has  its  first  outbreak  in  the  dream.  In 
other  instances  the  dream  life  contained  the  morbid  symp- 
toms, or  the  psychosis  was  limited  to  the  dream  life.  Thus 
Thomayer  70  calls  attention  to  anxiety  dreams  which  must  be 
conceived  as  equivalent  to  epileptic  attacks.  Allison  has 
described  nocturnal  insanity  (cited  by  Radestock),  in  which 
the  subjects  are  apparently  perfectly  well  in  the  day-time, 
while  hallucinations,  fits  of  frenzy,  and  the  like  regularly 
appear  at  night.  De  Sanctis  and  Tissie  report  similar  ob- 
servations (paranoiac  dream-equivalent  in  an  alcoholic,  voices 
accusing  a  wife  of  infidelity).  Tissie  reports  abundant  ob- 
servations from  recent  times  in  which  actions  of  a  pathological 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         75 

character  (based  on  delusions,  obsessive  impulses)  had  their 
origin  in  dreams.  Guislain  describes  a  case  in  which  sleep 
was  replaced  by  an  intermittent  insanity. 

There  is  hardly  any  doubt  that  along  with  the  psychology 
of  the  dream,  the  physician  will  one  day  occupy  himself  with 
the  psychopathology  of  the  dream. 

In  cases  of  convalescence  from  insanity,  it  is  often  especially 
obvious  that,  while  the  functions  of  the  day  are  normal,  the 
dream  life  may  still  belong  to  the  psychosis.  Gregory  is  said 
first  to  have  called  attention  to  such  cases  (cited  by  Krauss 39). 
Macario  (reported  by  Tissie)  gives  account  of  a  maniac  who, 
a  week  after  his  complete  recovery  again  experienced  in 
dreams  the  flight  of  ideas  and  the  passionate  impulses  of  his 

Concerning  the  changes  to  which  the  dream  life  is  sub- 
jected in  chronic  psychotic  persons,  very  few  investigations 
have  so  far  been  made.  On  the  other  hand,  timely  attention 
has  been  called  to  the  inner  relationship  between  the  dream 
and  mental  disturbance,  which  shows  itself  in  an  extensive 
agreement  of  the  manifestations  occurring  to  both.  According 
to  Maury,47  Cubanis,  in  his  Rapports  du  physique  et  du  moral, 
first  called  attention  to  this ;  following  him  came  Lelut, 
J.  Moreau,  and  more  particularly  the  philosopher  Maine  de 
Biran.  To  be  sure,  the  comparison  is  still  older.  Radestock  54 
begins  the  chapter  dealing  with  this  comparison,  by  giving  a 
collection  of  expressions  showing  the  analogy  between  the 
dream  and  insanity.  Kant  somewhere  says  :  "  The  lunatic 
is  a  dreamer  in  the  waking  state."  According  to  Krauss 
"  Insanity  is  a  dream  with  the  senses  awake."  Schopenhauer 
terms  the  dream  a  short  insanity,  and  insanity  a  long  dream. 
Hagen  describes  the  delirium  as  dream  life  which  has  not 
been  caused  by  sleep  but  by  disease.  Wundt,  in  the  Physio- 
logical Psychology,  declares  :  "As  a  matter  of  fact  we  may  in 
the  dream  ourselves  five  through  almost  all  symptoms  which 
we  meet  in  the  insane  asylums." 

The  specific  agreements,  on  the  basis  of  which  such  an 
identification  commends  itself  to  the  understanding,  are 
enumerated  by  Spitta.64  And  indeed,  very  similarly,  by  Maury 
in  the  following  grouping  :  "  (1)  Suspension  or  at  least  re- 
tardation, of  self-consciousness,  consequent  ignorance  of  the 


condition  as  such,  and  hence  incapability  of  astonishment 
and  lack  of  moral  consciousness.  (2)  Modified  perception  of 
the  sensory  organs  ;  that  is,  perception  is  diminished  in  the 
dream  and  generally  enhanced  in  insanity.  (3)  Combination 
of  ideas  with  each  other  exclusively  in  accordance  with  the 
laws  of  association  and  of  reproduction,  hence  automatic 
formation  of  groups  and  for  this  reason  disproportion  in  the 
relations  between  ideas  (exaggerations,  phantasms).  And  as 
a  result  of  all  this  :  (4)  Changing  or  transformation  of  the 
personality  and  at  times  of  the  peculiarities  of  character 

Radestock  gives  some  additional  features  or  analogies  in 
the  material :  "  Most  hallucinations  and  illusions  are  found  in 
the  sphere  of  the  senses  of  sight  and  hearing  and  general 
sensation.  As  in  the  dream,  the  smallest  number  of  elements 
is  supplied  by  the  senses  of  smell  and  taste.  The  fever 
patient,  like  the  dreamer,  is  assaulted  by  reminiscences  from 
the  remote  past ;  what  the  waking  and  healthy  man  seems 
to  have  forgotten  is  recollected  in  sleep  and  in  disease."  The 
analogy  between  the  dream  and  the  psychosis  receives  its  full 
value  only  when,  like  a  family  resemblance,  it  is  extended  to 
the  finer  mimicry  and  to  the  individual  peculiarities  of  facial 

"  To  him  who  is  tortured  by  physical  and  mental  sufferings 
the  dream  accords  what  has  been  denied  him  by  reality,  to 
wit,  physical  well-being  and  happiness  ;  so  the  insane,  too, 
see  the  bright  pictures  of  happiness,  greatness,  subhmity,  and 
riches.  The  supposed  possession  of  estates  and  the  imaginary 
fulfilment  of  wishes,  the  denial  or  destruction  of  which  have 
just  served  as  a  psychic  cause  of  the  insanity,  often  form  the 
main  content  of  the  delirium.  The  woman  who  has  lost  a 
dearly  beloved  child,  in  her  delirium  experiences  maternal 
joys  ;  the  man  who  has  suffered  reverses  of  fortune  deems 
himself  immensely  wealthy  ;  and  the  jilted  girl  pictures  herself 
in  the  bliss  of  tender  love." 

The  above  passage  from  Radestock,  an  abstract  of  a  keen 
discussion  of  Griesinger  31  (p.  Ill),  reveals  with  the  greatest 
clearness  the  wish  fulfilment  as  a  characteristic  of  the  imagina- 
tion, common  to  the  dream  and  the  psychosis.  (My  own 
investigations   have   taught    me    that   here    the    key    to    a 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         77 

psychological  theory  of  the  dream  and  of  the  psychosis  is  to 
be  found.) 

"  Absurd  combinations  of  ideas  and  weakness  of  judgment 
are  the  main  characteristics  of  the  dream  and  of  insanity." 
The  over-estimation  of  one's  own  mental  capacity,  which 
appears  absurd  to  sober  judgment,  is  found  alike  both  in  one 
and  the  other,  and  the  rapid  course  of  ideas  in  the  dream 
corresponds  to  the  flight  of  ideas  in  the  psychosis.  Both  are 
devoid  of  any  measure  of  time.  The  dissociation  of  personality 
in  the  dream,  which,  for  instance,  distributes  one's  own  know- 
ledge between  two  persons,  one  of  whom,  the  strange  one, 
corrects  in  the  dream  one's  own  ego,  fully  corresponds  to  the 
well-known  splitting  of  personality  in  hallucinatory  paranoia  ; 
the  dreamer,  too,  hears  his  own  thoughts  expressed  by  strange 
voices.  Even  the  constant  delusions  find  their  analogy  in  the 
stereotyped  recurring  pathological  dreams  (rive  obsedant). 
After  recovering  from  a  delirium,  patients  not  infrequently 
declare  that  the  disease  appeared  to  them  like  an  uncomfort- 
able dream  ;  indeed,  they  inform  us  that  occasionally,  even 
during  the  course  of  their  sickness,  they  have  felt  that  they 
were  only  dreaming,  just  as  it  frequently  happens  in  the 
sleeping  dream. 

Considering  all  this,  it  is  not  surprising  that  Radestock 
condenses  his  own  opinion  and  that  of  many  others  into  the 
following  :  "  Insanity,  an  abnormal  phenomenon  of  disease,  is 
to  be  regarded  as  an  enhancement  of  the  periodically  recurring 
normal  dream  states  "  (p.  228). 

Krauss  39  attempted  to  base  the  relationship  between  the 
dream  and  insanity  upon  the  etiology  (or  rather  upon  the 
exciting  sources),  perhaps  making  the  relationship  even  more 
intimate  than  was  possible  through  the  analogy  of  the  pheno- 
mena they  manifest.  According  to  him,  the  fundamental 
element  common  to  both  is,  as  we  have  learned,  the  organically 
determined  sensation,  the  sensation  of  physical  stimuli,  the 
general  feeling  produced  by  contributions  from  all  the  organs. 
Cf.  Peise,  cited  by  Maury  «  (p.  60). 

The  incontestable  agreement  between  the  dream  and 
mental  disturbance,  extending  into  characteristic  details, 
constitutes  one  of  the  strongest  supports  of  the  medical  theory 
of  dream  life,  according  to  which  the  dream  is  represented  as  a 


useless  and  disturbing  process  and  as  the  expression  of  a  reduced 
psychic  activity.  One  cannot  expect,  however,  to  derive  the 
final  explanation  of  the  dream  from  the  mental  disturbances, 
as  it  is  generally  known  in  what  unsatisfactory  state  our 
understanding  of  the  origin  of  the  latter  remains.  It  is  very 
probably,  however,  that  a  modified  conception  of  the  dream 
must  also  influence  our  views  in  regard  to  the  inner  mechanism 
of  mental  disturbances,  and  hence  we  may  say  that  we  are 
engaged  in  the  elucidation  of  the  psychosis  when  we  endeavour 
to  clear  up  the  mystery  of  the  dream. 

I  shall  have  to  justify  myself  for  not  extending  my  summary 
of  the  literature  of  the  dream  problems  over  the  period  be- 
tween the  first  appearance  of  this  book  and  its  second  edition. 
If  this  justification  may  not  seem  very  satisfactory  to  the 
reader,  I  was  nevertheless  influenced  by  it.  The  motives 
which  mainly  induced  me  to  summarise  the  treatment  of  the 
dream  in  the  literature  have  been  exhausted  with  the  foregoing 
introduction  ;  to  have  continued  with  this  work  would  have 
cost  me  extraordinary  effort  and  would  have  afforded  little 
advantage  or  knowledge.  For  the  period  of  nine  years  referred 
to  has  yielded  nothing  new  or  valuable  either  for  the  conception 
of  the  dream  in  actual  material  or  in  points  of  view.  In  most 
of  the  publications  that  have  since  appeared  my  work  has 
remained  unmentioned  and  unregarded ;  naturally  least 
attention  has  been  bestowed  upon  it  by  the  so-called  "  investi- 
gators of  dreams,"  who  have  thus  afforded  a  splendid  example 
of  the  aversion  characteristic  of  scientific  men  to  learning 
something  new.  "  Les  savants  ne  sont  pas  curieux,"  said 
the  scoffer  Anatole  France.  If  there  were  such  a  thing  in 
science  as  right  to  revenge,  I  in  turn  should  be  justified  in 
ignoring  the  literature  since  the  appearance  of  this  book. 
The  few  accounts  that  have  appeared  in  scientific  journals 
are  so  full  of  folly  and  misconception  that  my  only  possible 
answer  to  my  critics  would  be  to  request  them  to  read  this 
book  over  again.  Perhaps  also  the  request  should  be  that 
they  read  it  as  a  whole. 

In  the  works  of  those  physicians  who  make  use  of  the 
psychoanalytic  method  of  treatment  (Jung,  Abraham,  Riklin, 
Muthmann,  Stekel,  Rank,  and  others),  an  abundance  of  dreams 
have  been  reported  and  interpreted  in   accordance  with  my 

LITERATURE   OF   THE   DREAM         79 

instructions.  In  so  far  as  these  works  go  beyond  the  con- 
firmation of  my  assertions  I  have  noted  their  results  in  the 
context  of  my  discussion.  A  supplement  to  the  literary 
index  at  the  end  of  this  book  brings  together  the  most  im- 
portant of  these  new  publications.  The  voluminous  book  on 
the  dream  by  Sante  de  Sanctis,  of  which  a  German  translation 
appeared  soon  after  its  publication,  has,  so  to  speak,  crossed 
with  mine,  so  that  I  could  take  as  little  notice  of  him  as  the 
Italian  author  could  of  me.  Unfortunately,  I  am  further 
obliged  to  declare  that  this  laborious  work  is  exceedingly 
poor  in  ideas,  so  poor  that  one  could  never  divine  from  it  the 
existence  of  the  problems  treated  by  me. 

I  have  finally  to  mention  two  publications  which  show  a 
near  relation  to  my  treatment  of  the  dream  problems.  A 
younger  philosopher,  H.  Swoboda,  who  has  undertaken  to 
extend  W.  Fliesse's  discovery  of  biological  periodicity  (in 
groups  of  twenty- three  and  twenty-eight  days)  to  the  psychic 
field,  has  produced  an  imaginative  work,*  in  which,  among 
other  things,  he  has  used  this  key  to  solve  the  riddle  of  the 
dream.  The  interpretation  of  dreams  would  herein  have 
fared  badly ;  the  material  contained  in  dreams  would  be 
explained  through  the  coincidence  of  all  those  memories 
which  during  the  night  complete  one  of  the  biological  periods 
for  the  first  or  the  n-th  time.  A  personal  statement  from  the 
author  led  me  to  assume  that  he  himself  no  longer  wished  to 
advocate  this  theory  earnestly.  But  it  seems  I  was  mistaken 
in  this  conclusion  ;  I  shall  report  in  another  place  some  ob- 
servations in  reference  to  Swoboda's  assertion,  concerning  the 
conclusions  of  which  I  am,  however,  not  convinced.  It  gave 
me  far  greater  pleasure  to  find  accidentally,  in  an  unexpected 
place,  a  conception  of  the  dream  in  essentials  fully  agreeing 
with  my  own.  The  circumstances  of  time  preclude  the  possi- 
bility that  this  conception  was  influenced  by  a  reading  of  my 
book  ;  I  must  therefore  greet  this  as  the  only  demonstrable 
concurrence  in  the  literature  with  the  essence  of  my  dream 
theory.  The  book  which  contains  the  passage  concerning  the 
dream  which  I  have  in  mind  was  published  as  a  second  edition 
in  1900  by  Lynkus  under  the  title  Phantasien  eines  Realisten. 

*  H.  Swoboda,  Die  Perioden  des  Menschlichen  Organismus,  1904. 




The  title  which  I  have  given  my  treatise  indicates  the  tradition 
which  I  wish  to  make  the  starting-point  in  my  discussion  of 
dreams.  I  have  made  it  my  task  to  show  that  dreams  are 
capable  of  interpretation,  and  contributions  to  the  solution 
of  the  dream  problems  that  have  just  been  treated  can  only  be 
yielded  as  possible  by-products  of  the  settlement  of  my  own 
particular  problem.  With  the  hypothesis  that  dreams  are 
interpretable,  I  at  once  come  into  contradiction  with  the 
prevailing  dream  science,  in  fact  with  all  dream  theories  except 
that  of  Schemer,  for  to  "  interpret  a  dream  "  means  to  declare 
its  meaning,  to  replace  it  by  something  which  takes  its  place 
in  the  concatenation  of  our  psychic  activities  as  a  link  of  full 
importance  and  value.  But,  as  we  have  learnt,  the  scientific 
theories  of  the  dream  leave  no  room  for  a  problem  of  dream 
interpretation,  for,  in  the  first  place,  according  to  these,  the 
dream  is  no  psychic  action,  but  a  somatic  process  which  makes 
itself  known  to  the  psychic  apparatus  by  means  of  signs.  The 
opinion  of  the  masses  has  always  been  quite  different.  It 
asserts  its  privilege  of  proceeding  illogically,  and  although  it 
admits  the  dream  to  be  incomprehensible  and  absurd,  it 
cannot  summon  the  resolution  to  deny  the  dream  all  significance. 
Led  by  a  dim  intuition,  it  seems  rather  to  assume  that  the 
dream  has  a  meaning,  albeit  a  hidden  one  ;  that  it  is  intended 
as  a  substitute  for  some  other  thought  process,  and  that  it  is 
only  a  question  of  revealing  this  substitute  correctly  in  order 
to  reach  the  hidden  signification  of  the  dream. 

The  laity  has,  therefore,  always  endeavoured  to  "  interpret  " 
the  dream,  and  in  doing  so  has  tried  two  essentially  different 
methods.  The  first  of  these  procedures  regards  the  dream 
content  as  a  whole  and  seeks  to  replace  it  by  another  content 



which  is  intelligible  and  in  certain  respects  analogous.  This 
is  symbolic  dream  interpretation  ;  it  naturally  goes  to  pieces 
at  the  outset  in  the  case  of  those  dreams  which  appear  not  only 
unintelligible  but  confused.  The  construction  which  the 
biblical  Joseph  places  upon  the  dream  of  Pharaoh  furnishes 
an  example  of  its  procedure.  The  seven  fat  kine,  after  which 
came  seven  lean  ones  which  devour  the  former,  furnish  a 
symbolic  substitute  for  a  prediction  of  seven  years  of  famine 
in  the  land  of  Egypt,  which  will  consume  all  the  excess  which 
seven  fruitful  years  have  created.  Most  of  the  artificial  dreams 
contrived  by  poets  are  intended  for  such  symbolic  interpreta- 
tion, for  they  reproduce  the  thought  conceived  by  the  poet 
in  a  disguise  found  to  be  in  accordance  with  the  characteristics 
of  our  dreaming,  as  we  know  these  from  experience.*  The 
idea  that  the  dream  concerns  itself  chiefly  with  future  events 
whose  course  it  surmises  in  advance — a  relic  of  the  prophetic 
significance  with  which  dreams  were  once  credited — now 
becomes  the  motive  for  transplanting  the  meaning  of  the 
dream,  found  by  means  of  symbolic  interpretation,  into  the 
future  by  means  of  an  "  it  shall." 

A  demonstration  of  the  way  in  which  such  symbolic  inter- 
pretation is  arrived  at  cannot,  of  course,  be  given.  Success 
remains  a  matter  of  ingenious  conjecture,  of  direct  intuition, 
and  for  this  reason  dream  interpretation  has  naturally  been 
elevated  to  an  art,  which  seems  to  depend  upon  extraordinary 
gifts. f  The  other  of  the  two  popular  methods  of  dream 
interpretation    entirely  abandons   such  claims.     It   might  be 

*  In  a  novel,  Gradiva,  of  the  poet  W.  Jensen,  I  accidentally  discovered 
several  artificial  dreams  which  were  formed  with  perfect  correctness  and 
which  could  be  interpreted  as  though  they  had  not  been  invented,  but  had 
been  dreamt  by  actual  persons.  The  poet  declared,  upon  my  inquiry,  that 
he  was  unacquainted  with  my  theory  of  dreams.  I  have  made  use  of  this 
correspondence  between  my  investigation  and  the  creative  work  of  the  poet 
as  a  proof  of  the  correctness  of  my  method  of  dream  analysis  ("  Der  Wahn 
und  die  Träume,"  in  W.  Jensen's  Gradiva,  No.  1  of  the  Schriften  zur 
angewandten  Seelenkunde,  1906,  edited  by  me).  Dr.  Alfred  Robitsek  has 
since  shown  that  the  dream  of  the  hero  in  Goethe's  Egmont  may  be  inter- 
preted as  correctly  as  an  actually  experienced  dream  ("  Die  Analyse  von 
Egmont's  Träume,"  Jahrbuch,  edited  by  Bleuler-Freud,  vol.  ii.,  1910.) 

t  After  the  completion  of  my  manuscript,  a  paper  by  Stumpf  (Sä)  came 
to  my  notice  which  agrees  with  my  work  in  attempting  to  prove  that  the 
dream  is  full  of  meaning  and  capable  of  interpretation.  But  the  interpre- 
tation is  undertaken  by  means  of  an  allegorising  symbolism,  without  warrant 
for  the  universal  applicability  of  the  procedure. 



designated  as  the  "  cipher  method,"  since  it  treats  the  dream 
as  a  kind  of  secret  code,  in  which  every  sign  is  translated  into 
another  sign  of  known  meaning,  according  to  an  established 
key.  For  example,  I  have  dreamt  of  a  letter,  and  also  of  a 
funeral  or  the  like  ;  I  consult  a  "  dream  book,"  and  find  that 
"  letter  "  is  to  be  translated  by  "  vexation,"  and  "  funeral  " 
by  "  marriage,  engagement."  It  now  remains  to  establish  a 
connection,  which  I  again  am  to  assume  pertains  to  the  future, 
by  means  of  the  rigmarole  which  I  have  deciphered.  An 
interesting  variation  of  this  cipher  procedure,  a  variation  by 
which  its  character  of  purely  mechanical  transference  is  to  a 
certain  extent  corrected,  is  presented  in  the  work  on  dream 
interpretation  by  Artemidoros  of  Daldis.2  Here  not  only  the 
dream  content,  but  also  the  personality  and  station  in  life  of 
the  dreamer,  are  taken  into  consideration,  so  that  the  same 
dream  content  has  a  significance  for  the  rich  man,  the  married 
man,  or  the  orator,  which  is  different  from  that  for  the  poor 
man,  the  unmarried  man,  or,  say,  the  merchant.  The  essential 
point,  then,  in  this  procedure  is  that  the  work  of  interpretation 
is  not  directed  to  the  entirety  of  the  dream,  but  to  each  portion 
of  the  dream  content  by  itself,  as  though  the  dream  were  a 
conglomeration,  in  which  each  fragment  demands  a  particular 
disposal.  Incoherent  and  confused  dreams  are  certainly  the 
ones  responsible  for  the  invention  of  the  cipher  method.* 

*  Dr.  Alfred  Robitsek  calls  my  attention  to  the  fact  that  Oriental  dream 
books,  of  which  ours  are  pitiful  plagiarisms,  undertake  the  interpretation  of 
dream  elements,  mostly  according  to  the  assonance  and  similarity  of  the 
words.  Since  these  relationships  must  be  lost  by  translation  into  our 
language,  the  incomprehensibility  of  the  substitutions  in  our  popular  "  dream 
books  "  may  have  its  origin  in  this  fact.  Information  as  to  the  extraordinary 
significance  of  puns  and  punning  in  ancient  Oriental  systems  of  culture  may 
be  found  in  the  writings  of  Hugo  Winckler.  The  nicest  example  of  a  dream 
interpretation  which  lias  come  down  to  us  from  antiquity  is  based  on  a  play 
upon  words.  Artemidoros 2  relates  the  following  (p.  225) :  "  It  seems  to  me 
that  Aristandros  gives  a  happy  interpretation  to  Alexander  of  Macedon. 
When  the  latter  held  Tyros  shut  in  and  in  a  state  of  siege,  and  was  angry 
and  depressed  over  the  great  loss  of  time,  he  dreamed  that  he  saw  a  Satyros 
dancing  on  his  shield.  It  happened  that  Aristandros  was  near  Tyros  and  in 
the  convoy  of  the  king,  who  was  waging  war  on  the  Syrians.  By  disjoining 
the  woi'd  Satyros  into  <ra  and  rfyos,  he  induced  the  king  to  become  more 
aggressive  in  the  siege,  and  thus  he  became  master  of  the  city.  (2a  Tipos — 
thine  is  Tyros.)  The  dream,  indeed,  is  so  intimately  connected  with  verbal 
expression  that  Ferenczi"  may  justly  remark  that  every  tongue  has  its 
own  dream  language.  Dreams  are,  as  a  rule,  not  translatable  into  other 

t  I 


The  worthlessness  of  both  these  popular  interpretation 
procedures  for  the  scientific  treatment  of  the  subject  cannot  be 
questioned  for  a  moment.  The  symbolic  method  is  limited 
in  its  application  and  is  capable  of  no  general  demonstration. 
In  the  cipher  method  everything  depends  upon  whether  the 
key,  the  dream  book,  is  reliable,  and  for  that  all  guarantees 
are  lacking.  One  might  be  tempted  to  grant  the  contention 
of  the  philosophers  and  psychiatrists  and  to  dismiss  the 
problem  of  dream  interpretation  as  a  fanciful  one. 

I  have  come,  however,  to  think  differently.  I  have  been 
forced  to  admit  that  here  once  more  we  have  one  of  those  nob 
infrequent  cases  where  an  ancient  and  stubbornly  retained 
popular  belief  seems  to  have  come  nearer  to  the  truth  of  the 
matter  than  the  judgment  of  the  science  which  prevails  to-day. 
I  must  insist  that  the  dream  actually  has  significance,  and  that 
a  scientific  procedure  in  dream  interpretation  is  possible.  I 
have  come  upon  the  knowledge  of  this  procedure  in  the  follow- 
ing manner  : — 

For  several  years  I  have  been  occupied  with  the  solution 
of  certain  psychopathological  structures  in  hysterical  phobias, 
compulsive  ideas,  and  the  like,  for  therapeutic  purposes.  I 
have  been  so  occupied  since  becoming  familiar  with  an  import- 
ant report  of  Joseph  Breuer  to  the  effect  that  in  those  struc- 
tures, regarded  as  morbid  symptoms,  solution  and  treatment 
go  hand  in  hand.*  Where  it  has  been  possible  to  trace  such 
a  pathological  idea  back  to  the  elements  in  the  psychic  life  of 
the  patient  to  which  it  owes  its  origin,  this  idea  has  crumbled 
away,  and  the  patient  has  been  relieved  of  it.  In  view  of  the 
failure  of  our  other  therapeutic  efforts,  and  in  the  face  of  the 
mysteriousness  of  these  conditions,  it  seems  to  me  tempting,  in 
spite  of  all  difficulties,  to  press  forward  on  the  path  taken  by 
Breuer  until  the  subject  has  been  fully  understood.  We  shall 
have  elsewhere  to  make  a  detailed  report  upon  the  form  which 
the  technique  of  this  procedure  has  finally  assumed,  and  the 
results  of  the  efforts  which  have  been  made.  In  the  course 
of  these  psychoanalytical  studies,  I  happened  upon  dream 
interpretation.  My  patients,  after  I  had  obliged  them  to 
inform  me  of  all  the  ideas  and  thoughts  which  came  to  them  in 
connection  with  the  given  theme,  related  their  dreams,  and 

*  Breuer  and  Freud,  Studien  über  Hysterie,  Vienna,  1895  ;  2nd  ed.  1909. 


thus  taught  me  that  a  dream  may  be  linked  into  the  psychic 
concatenation  which  must  be  followed  backwards  into  the 
memory  from  the  pathological  idea  as  a  starting-point.  The 
next  step  was  to  treat  the  dream  as  a  symptom,  and  to  apply 
to  it  the  method  of  interpretation  which  had  been  worked  out 
for  such  symptoms. 

For  this  a  certain  psychic  preparation  of  the  patient  is 
necessary.  The  double  effort  is  made  with  him,  to  stimulate 
his  attention  for  his  psychic  perceptions  and  to  eliminate  the 
critique  with  which  he  is  ordinarily  in  the  habit  of  viewing 
the  thoughts  which  come  to  the  surface  in  him.  For  the  pur- 
pose of  self-observation  with  concentrated  attention,  it  is 
advantageous  that  the  patient  occupy  a  restful  position  and 
close  his  eyes  ;  he  must  be  explicitly  commanded  to  resign 
the  critique  of  the  thought-formations  which  he  perceives. 
He  must  be  told  further  that  the  success  of  the  psychoanalysis 
depends  upon  his  noticing  and  telling  everything  that  passes 
through  his  mind,  and  that  he  must  not  allow  himself  to 
suppress  one  idea  because  it  seems  to  him  unimportant  or 
irrelevant  to  the  subject,  or  another  because  it  seems  non- 
sensical. He  must  maintain  impartiality  towards  his  ideas  ; 
for  it  would  be  owing  to  just  this  critique  if  he  were  unsuccessful 
in  finding  the  desired  solution  of  the  dream,  the  obsession,  or 
the  like. 

I  have  noticed  in  the  course  of  my  psychoanalytic  work 
that  the  state  of  mind  of  a  man  in  contemplation  is  entirely 
different  from  that  of  a  man  who  is  observing  his  psychic 
processes.  In  contemplation  there  is  a  greater  play  of  psychic 
action  than  in  the  most  attentive  self-observation  ;  this  is 
also  shown  by  the  tense  attitude  and  wrinkled  brow  of 
contemplation,  in  contrast  with  the  restful  features  of  self- 
observation.  In  both  cases,  there  must  be  concentration  of 
attention,  but,  besides  this,  in  contemplation  one  exercises  a 
critique,  in  consequence  of  which  he  rejects  some  of  the  ideas 
which  he  has  perceived,  and  cuts  short  others,  so  that  he  does 
not  follow  the  trains  of  thought  which  they  would  open  ; 
toward  still  other  thoughts  he  may  act  in  such  a  manner  that 
they  do  not  become  conscious  at  all — that  is  to  say,  they  are 
suppressed  before  they  are  perceived.  In  self-observation, 
on  the  other  hand,  one  has  only  the  task  of  suppressing  the 


critique ;  if  he  succeeds  in  this,  an  unlimited,  number  of  ideas, 
which  otherwise  would  have  been  impossible  for  him  to  grasp, 
come  to  his  consciousness.  With  the  aid  of  this  material, 
newly  secured  for  the  purpose  of  self-observation,  the  inter- 
pretation of  pathological  ideas,  as  well  as  of  dream  images,  can 
be  accomplished.  As  may  be  seen,  the  point  is  to  bring  about 
a  psychic  state  to  some  extent  analogous  as  regards  the  appor- 
tionment of  psychic  energy  (transferable  attention)  to  the 
state  prior  to  falling  asleep  (and  indeed  also  to  the  hypnotic 
state).  In  falling  asleep,  the  "  undesired  ideas  "  come  into 
prominence  on  account  of  the  slackening  of  a  certain  arbitrary 
(and  certainly  also  critical)  action,  which  we  allow  to  exert 
an  influence  upon  the  trend  of  our  ideas  ;  we  are  accustomed 
to  assign  "  fatigue "  as  the  reason  for  this  slackening  ;  the 
emerging  undesired  ideas  as  the  reason  are  changed  into  visual 
and  acoustic  images.  {Gf.  the  remarks  of  Schleiermacher  61) 
and  others,  p.  40.)  In  the  condition  which  is  used  for  the 
analysis  of  dreams  and  pathological  ideas,  this  activity  is 
purposely  and  arbitrarily  dispensed  with,  and  the  psychic 
energy  thus  saved,  or  a  part  of  it,  is  used  for  the  attentive 
following  of  the  undesired  thoughts  now  coming  to  the  surface, 
which  retain  their  identity  as  ideas  (this  is  the  difference  from 
the  condition  of  falling  asleep).  "  Undesired  ideas  "  are  thus 
changed  into  "  desired  "  ones. 

The  suspension  thus  required  of  the  critique  for  these 
apparently  "  freely  rising "  ideas,  which  is  here  demanded 
and  which  is  usually  exercised  on  them,  is  not  easy  for  some 
persons.  The  "  undesired  ideas  "  are  in  the  habit  of  starting 
the  most  violent  resistance,  which  seeks  to  prevent  them  from 
coming  to  the  surface.  But  if  we  may  credit  our  great  poet- 
philosopher  Friedrich  Schiller,  a  very  similar  tolerance  must 
be  the  condition  of  poetic  production.  At  a  point  in  his 
correspondence  with  Koerner,  for  the  noting  of  which  we  are 
indebted  to  Mr.  Otto  Rank,  Schiller  answers  a  friend  who 
complains  of  his  lack  of  creativeness  in  the  following  words  : 
"  The  reason  for  your  complaint  lies,  it  seems  to  me,  in  the 
constraint  which  your  intelligence  imposes  upon  your  imagina- 
tion. I  must  here  make  an  observation  and  illustrate  it  by  an 
allegory.  It  does  not  seem  beneficial,  and  it  is  harmful  for 
the  creative  work  of  the  mind,  if  the  intelligence  inspects  too 


closely  the  ideas  already  pouring  in,  as  it  were,  at  the  gates. 
Regarded  by  itself,  an  idea  may  be  very  trifling  and  very  ad- 
venturous, but  it  perhaps  becomes  important  on  account  of 
one  which  follows  it ;  perhaps  in  a  certain  connection  with 
others,  which  may  seem  equally  absurd,  it  is  capable  of  forming 
a  very  useful  construction.  The  intelligence  cannot  judge  all 
these  things  if  it  does  not  hold  them  steadily  long  enough  to 
see  them  in  connection  with  the  others.  In  the  case  of  a 
creative  mind,  however,  the  intelligence  has  withdrawn  its 
watchers  from  the  gates,  the  ideas  rush  in  pell-mell,  and  it  is 
only  then  that  the  great  heap  is  looked  over  and  critically 
examined.  Messrs.  Critics,  or  whatever  else  you  may  call 
yourselves,  you  are  ashamed  or  afraid  of  the  momentary  and 
transitory  madness  which  is  found  in  all  creators,  and  whose 
longer  or  shorter  duration  distinguishes  the  thinking  artist 
from  the  dreamer.  Hence  your  complaints  about  barrenness, 
for  you  reject  too  soon  and  discriminate  too  severely  "  (Letter 
of  December  1,  1788). 

And  yet,  "  such  a  withdrawal  of  the  watchers  from  the 
gates  of  intelligence,"  as  Schiller  calls  it,  such  a  shifting  into 
the  condition  of  uncritical  self-observation,  is  in  no  way 

Most  of  my  patients  accomplish  it  after  the  first  instructions  ; 
I  myself  can  do  it  very  perfectly,  if  I  assist  the  operation  by 
writing  down  my  notions.  The  amount,  in  terms  of  psychic 
energy,  by  which  the  critical  activity  is  in  this  maimer  reduced, 
and  by  which  the  intensity  of  the  self-observation  may  be 
increased,  varies  widely  according  to  the  subject  matter  upon 
which  the  attention  is  to  be  fixed. 

The  first  step  in  the  application  of  this  procedure  now 
teaches  us  that  not  the  dream  as  a  whole,  but  only  the  parts 
of  its  contents  separately,  may  be  made  the  object  of  our 
attention.  If  I  ask  a  patient  who  is  as  yet  unpractised  : 
"  What  occurs  to  you  in  connection  with  this  dream  ?  "  as 
a  rule  he  is  unable  to  fix  upon  anything  in  his  psychic  field  of 
vision.  I  must  present  the  dream  to  him  piece  by  piece,  then 
for  every  fragment  he  gives  me  a  series  of  notions,  which 
may  be  designated  as  the  "  background  thoughts  "  of  this 
part  of  the  dream.  In  this  first  and  important  condition,  then, 
the  method  of  dream  interpretation  which  I  employ  avoids 


the  popular,  traditional  method  of  interpretation  by  symbolism 
famous  in  the  legends,  and  approaches  the  second,  the  "  cipher 
method."  Like  this  one  it  is  an  interpretation  in  detail,  not 
en  masse;  like  this  it  treats  the  dream  from  the  beginning  as 
something  put  together — as  a  conglomeration  of  psychic  images. 
In  the  course  of  my  psychoanalysis  of  neurotics,  I  have 
indeed  already  subjected  many  thousand  dreams  to  inter- 
pretation, but  I  do  not  now  wish  to  use  this  material  in  the 
introduction  to  the  technique  and  theory  of  dream  interpreta- 
tion. Quite  apart  from  the  consideration  that  I  should  expose 
myself  to  the  objection  that  these  are  dreams  of  neuropathic 
subjects,  the  conclusions  drawn  from  which  would  not  admit 
of  reapplication  to  the  dreams  of  healthy  persons,  another 
reason  forces  me  to  reject  them.  The  theme  which  is  naturally 
always  the  subject  of  these  dreams,  is  the  history  of  the  disease 
which  is  responsible  for  the  neurosis.  For  this  purpose  there 
would  be  required  a  very  long  introduction  and  an  investiga- 
tion into  the  nature  and  logical  conditions  of  psychoneuroses, 
things  which  are  in  themselves  novel  and  unfamiliar  in  the 
highest  degree,  and  which  would  thus  distract  attention  from 
the  dream  problem.  My  purpose  lies  much  more  in  the 
direction  of  preparing  the  ground  for  a  solution  of  difficult 
problems  in  the  psychology  of  the  neuroses  by  means  of  the 
solution  of  dreams.  But  if  I  ehminate  the  dreams  of  neurotics, 
I  must  not  treat  the  remainder  too  discriminatingly.  Only 
those  dreams  still  remain  which  have  been  occasionally  related 
to  me  by  healthy  persons  of  my  acquaintance,  or  which  I  find 
as  examples  in  the  literature  of  dream  life.  Unfortunately 
in  all  these  dreams  the  analysis  is  lacking,  without  which  I 
cannot  find  the  meaning  of  the  dream.  My  procedure  is,  of 
course,  not  as  easy  as  that  of  the  popular  cipher  method,  which 
translates  the  given  dream  content  according  to  an  established 
key  ;  I  am  much  more  prepared  to  find  that  the  same  dream 
may  cover  a  different  meaning  in  the  case  of  different  persons, 
and  in  a  different  connection  I  must  then  resort  to  my  own 
dreams,  as  an  abundant  and  convenient  material,  furnished 
by  a  person  who  is  about  normal,  and  having  reference  to  many 
incidents  of  everyday  life.  I  shall  certainly  be  with  doubts 
as  to  the  trustworthiness  of  these  "  self -analyses."  Arbitrari- 
ness is  here  in  no  way  avoided.     In  my  opinion,  conditions  are 


more  likely  to  be  favourable  in  self-observation  than  in  the 
observation  of  others  ;  in  any  case,  it  is  permissible  to  see  how 
much  can  be  accomplished  by  means  of  self-analysis.  I  must 
overcome  further  difficulties  arising  from  inner  self.  One  has 
a  readily  understood  aversion  to  exposing  so  many  intimate 
things  from  one's  own  psychic  life,  and  one  does  not  feel  safe 
from  the  misinterpretation  of  strangers.  But  one  must  be 
able  to  put  one's  self  beyond  this.  "  Toute  psychologiste," 
writes  Delboeuf,26  "  est  oblige  de  faire  l'aveu  meme  de  ses 
faiblesses  s'il  croit  par  lä  jeter  du  jour  sur  quelque  probleme 
obscure."  And  I  may  assume  that  in  the  case  of  the  reader, 
the  immediate  interest  in  the  indiscretions  which  I  must 
commit  will  very  soon  give  way  to  exclusive  engrossment  in 
the  psychological  problems  which  are  illuminated  by  them. 

I  shall,  therefore,  select  one  of  my  own  dreams  and  use  it  to 
elucidate  my  method  of  interpretation.  Every  such  dream 
necessitates  a  preliminary  statement.  I  must  now  beg  the 
reader  to  make  my  interests  his  own  for  a  considerable  time, 
and  to  become  absorbed  with  me  in  the  most  trifling  details 
of  my  life,  for  an  interest  in  the  hidden  significance  of  dreams 
imperatively  demands  such  transference. 

Preliminary  statement :  In  the  summer  of  1895  I  had 
psychoanalytically  treated  a  young  lady  who  stood  in  close 
friendship  to  me  and  those  near  to  me.  It  is  to  be  understood 
that  such  a  complication  of  relations  may  be  the  source  of 
manifold  feelings  for  the  physician,  especially  for  the  psycho- 
therapist. The  personal  interest  of  the  physician  is  greater, 
his  authority  is  less.  A  failure  threatens  to  undermine  the 
friendship  with  the  relatives  of  the  patient.  The  cure  ended 
with  partial  success,  the  patient  got  rid  of  her  hysterical  fear, 
but  not  of  all  her  somatic  symptoms.  I  was  at  that  time 
not  yet  sure  of  the  criteria  marking  the  final  settlement  of  a 
hysterical  case,  and  expected  her  to  accept  a  solution  which  did 
not  seem  acceptable  to  her.  In  this  disagreement,  we  cut 
short  the  treatment  on  account  of  the  summer  season.  One 
day  a  younger  colleague,  one  of  my  best  friends,  who  had 
visited  the  patient — Irma — and  her  family  in  their  country 
resort,  came  to  see  me.  I  asked  him  how  he  found  her,  and 
received  the  answer  :  "  She  is  better,  but  not  altogether  well." 
I  realise  that  those  words  of  my  friend  Otto,  or  the  tone  of 


voice  in  which  they  were  spoken,  made  me  angry.  I  thought 
I  heard  a  reproach  in  the  words,  perhaps  to  the  effect  that  I 
had  promised  the  patient  too  much,  and  rightly  or  wrongly 
I  traced  Otto's  supposed  siding  against  me  to  the  influence 
of  the  relatives  of  the  patient,  who,  I  assume,  had  never 
approved  of  my  treatment.  Moreover,  my  disagreeable  im- 
pression did  not  become  clear  to  me,  nor  did  I  give  it  ex- 
pression. The  very  same  evening,  I  wrote  down  the  history 
of  Irma's  case,  in  order  to  hand  it,  as  though  for  my  justifica- 
tion, to  Dr.  M.,  a  mutual  friend,  who  was  at  that  time  a  leading 
figure  in  our  circle.  During  the  night  following  this  evening 
(perhaps  rather  in  the  morning)  I  had  the  following  dream, 
which  was  registered  immediately  after  waking  : — 

Dream  of  July  23-24,  1895 

A  great  hall — many  guests  whom  we  are  receiving — among 
them  Irma,  whom  I  immediately  take  aside,  as  though  to  answer 
her  letter,  to  reproach  her  for  not  yet  accepting  the  "  solution." 
I  say  to  her :  "If  you  still  have  pains,  it  is  really  only  your  own 
fault."  She  answers  :  "If  you  only  knew  what  pains  I  now 
have  in  the  neck,  stomach,  and  abdomen ;  I  am  drawn  together." 
I  am  frightened  and  look  at  her.  She  looks  pale  and  bloated ;  I 
think  that  after  all  I  must  be  overlooking  some  organic  affection. 
I  take  her  to  the  window  and  look  into  her  throat.  She  shows 
some  resistance  to  this,  like  a  woman  who  has  a  false  set  of  teeth. 
I  think  anyway  she  does  not  need  them.  The  mouth  then  really 
opens  without  difficulty  and  I  find  a  large  white  spot  to  the  right, 
and  at  another  place  I  see  extended  grayish-white  scabs  attached 
to  curious  curling  formations,  which  have  obviously  been  formed 
like  the  turbinated  bone — /  quickly  call  Dr.  M.,  who  repeats  the 
examination  and  confirms  it.  .  .  .  Dr.  M.'s  looks  are  altogether 
unusual ;  he  is  very  pale,  limps,  and  has  no  beard  on  his  chin. 
.  .  .  My  friend  Otto  is  now  also  standing  next  to  her,  and  my 
friend  Leopold  percusses  her  small  body  and  says  :  "  She  has 
some  dulness  on  the  left  below,"  and  also  calls  attention  to  an 
infiltrated  portion  of  the  skin  on  the  left  shoulder  (something 
which  I  feel  as  he  does,  in  spite  of  the  dress).  .  .  .  M .  says :  "  No 
doubt  it  is  an  infection,  but  it  does  not  matter ;  dysentery  will 
develop  too,  and  the  poison  will  be  excreted.  .  .  .  We  also  have 


immediate  knowledge  of  the  origin  of  the  infection.  My  friend 
Otto  has  recently  given  her  an  injection  with  a  propyl  preparation 
when  she  felt  ill,  propyls.  .  .  .  Propionic  acid  .  .  .  Trimethy- 
lamine  {the  formula  of  which  I  see  printed  before  me  in  heavy 
type).  .  .  .  Such  injections  are  not  made  so  rashly.  .  .  .  Pro- 
bably also  the  syringe  was  not  clean. 

This  dream  has  an  advantage  over  many  others.  It  is 
at  once  clear  with  what  events  of  the  preceding  day  it  is  con- 
nected, and  what  subject  it  treats.  The  preliminary  statement 
gives  information  on  these  points.  The  news  about  Irma's 
health  which  I  have  received  from  Otto,  the  history  of  the 
illness  upon  which  I  have  written  until  late  at  night,  have 
occupied  my  psychic  activity  even  during  sleep.  In  spite  of 
all  this,  no  one,  who  has  read  the  preliminary  report  and  has 
knowledge  of  the  content  of  the  dream,  has  been  able  to  guess 
what  the  dream  signifies.  Nor  do  I  myself  know.  I  wonder 
about  the  morbid  symptoms,  of  which  Irma  complains  in  the 
dream,  for  they  are  not  the  same  ones  for  which  I  have  treated 
her.  I  smile  about  the  consultation  with  Dr.  M.  I  smile  at 
the  nonsensical  idea  of  an  injection  with  propionic  acid,  and  at 
the  consolation  attempted  by  Dr.  M.  Towards  the  end  the 
dream  seems  more  obscure  and  more  terse  than  at  the  be- 
ginning. In  order  to  learn  the  significance  of  all  this,  I  am 
compelled  to  undertake  a  thorough  analysis. 


The  hall — many  guests,  whom  we  are  receiving. 

We  were  living  this  summer  at  the  Bellevue,  in  an  isolated 
house  on  one  of  the  hills  which  he  close  to  the  Kahlenberg. 
This  house  was  once  intended  as  a  place  of  amusement,  and 
on  this  account  has  unusually  high,  hall-like  rooms.  The 
dream  also  occurred  at  the  Bellevue,  a  few  days  before  the 
birthday  of  my  wife.  During  the  day,  my  wife  had  expressed 
the  expectation  that  several  friends,  among  them  Irma,  would 
come  to  us  as  guests  for  her  birthday.  My  dream,  then, 
anticipates  this  situation  :  It  is  the  birthday  of  my  wife,  and 
many  people,  among  them  Irma,  are  received  by  us  as  guests 
in  the  great  hall  of  the  Bellevue. 

/  reproach  Irma  for  not  having  accepted  the  solution.  I  say : 
"  If  you  still  have  pains,  it  is  your  own  fault." 


I  might  have  said  this  also,  or  did  say  it,  while  awake.  At 
that  time  I  had  the  opinion  (recognised  later  to  be  incorrect) 
that  my  task  was  limited  to  informing  patients  of  the  hidden 
meaning  of  their  symptoms.  Whether  they  then  accepted  or 
did  not  accept  the  solution  upon  which  success  depended — for 
that  I  was  not  responsible.  I  am  thankful  to  this  error,  which 
fortunately  has  now  been  overcome,  for  making  life  easier  for 
me  at  a  time  when,  with  all  my  unavoidable  ignorance,  I 
was  to  produce  successful  cures.  But  I  see  in  the  speech 
which  I  make  to  Irma  in  the  dream,  that  above  all  things  I 
do  not  want  to  be  to  blame  for  the  pains  which  she  still  feels. 
If  it  is  Irma's  own  fault,  it  cannot  be  mine.  Should  the 
purpose  of  the  dream  be  looked  for  in  this  quarter  ? 

Irma's  complaints ;  pains  in  the  neck,  abdomen,  and  stomach ; 
she  is  drawn  together. 

Pains  in  the  stomach  belonged  to  the  symptom-complex  of 
my  patient,  but  they  were  not  very  prominent ;  she  com- 
plained rather  of  sensations  of  nausea  and  disgust.  Pains  in 
the  neck  and  abdomen  and  constriction  of  the  throat  hardly 
played  a  part  in  her  case.  I  wonder  why  I  decided  upon  this 
choice  of  symptoms,  nor  can  I  for  the  moment  find  the  reason. 

She  looks  pale  and  bloated. 

My  patient  was  always  ruddy.  I  suspect  that  another 
person  is  here  being  substituted  for  her. 

/  am  frightened  at  the  thought  that  I  must  have  overlooked  some 
organic  affection. 

This,  as  the  reader  will  readily  believe,  is  a  constant  fear 
with  the  specialist,  who  sees  neurotics  almost  exclusively, 
and  who  is  accustomed  to  ascribe  so  many  manifestations, 
which  other  physicians  treat  as  organic,  to  hysteria.  On  the 
other  hand,  I  am  haunted  by  a  faint  doubt — I  know  not  whence 
it  comes — as  to  whether  my  fear  is  altogether  honest.  If 
Irma's  pains  are  indeed  of  organic  origin,  I  am  not  bound  to 
cure  them.  My  treatment,  of  course,  removes  only  hysterical 
pains.  It  seems  to  me,  in  fact,  that  I  wish  to  find  an  error  in 
the  diagnosis  ;  in  that  case  the  reproach  of  being  unsuccessful 
would  be  removed. 

/  take  her  to  the  window  in  order  to  look  into  her  throat.  She 
resists  a  little,  like  a  woman  who  has  false  teeth.  I  think  she  does 
not  need  them  anyway. 


I  had  never  had  occasion  to  inspect  Irma's  aural  cavity. 
The  incident  in  the  dream  reminds  me  of  an  examination, 
made  some  time  before,  of  a  governess  who  at  first  gave  an 
impression  of  youthful  beauty,  but  who  upon  opening  her 
mouth  took  certain  measures  for  concealing  her  teeth.  Other 
memories  of  medical  examinations  and  of  little  secrets  which 
are  discovered  by  them,  unpleasantly  for  both  examiner  and 
examined,  connect  themselves  with  this  case.  "  She  does  not 
need  them  anyway,"  is  at  first  perhaps  a  compliment  for 
Irma  ;  but  I  suspect  a  different  meaning.  In  careful  analysis 
one  feels  whether  or  not  the  "  background  thoughts  "  which 
are  to  be  expected  have  been  exhausted.  The  way  in  which 
Irma  stands  at  the  window  suddenly  reminds  me  of  another 
experience.  Irma  possesses  an  intimate  woman  friend,  of 
whom  I  think  very  highly.  One  evening  on  paying  her  a  visit 
I  found  her  in  the  position  at  the  window  reproduced  in  the 
dream,  and  her  physician,  the  same  Dr.  M.,  declared  that  she 
had  a  diphtheritic  membrane.  The  person  of  Dr.  M.  and  the 
membrane  return  in  the  course  of  the  dream.  Now  it  occurs 
to  me  that  during  the  last  few  months,  I  have  been  given  every 
reason  to  suppose  that  this  lady  is  also  hysterical.  Yes,  Irma 
herself  has  betrayed  this  to  me.  But  what  do  I  know  about 
her  condition  ?  Only  the  one  thing,  that  like  Irma  she 
suffers  from  hysterical  choking  in  dreams.  Thus  in  the 
dream  I  have  replaced  my  patient  by  her  friend.  Now  I 
remember  that  I  have  often  trifled  with  the  expectation  that 
this  lady  might  likewise  engage  me  to  relieve  her  of  her 
symptoms.  But  even  at  the  time  I  thought  it  improbable, 
for  she  is  of  a  very  shy  nature.  She  resists,  as  the  dream 
shows.  Another  explanation  might  be  that  she  does  not  need 
it ;  in  fact,  until  now  she  has  shown  herself  strong  enough  to 
master  her  condition  without  outside  help.  Now  only  a  few 
features  remain,  which  I  can  assign  neither  to  Irma  nor  to  her 
friend  :  Pale,  bloated,  false  teeth.  The  false  teeth  lead  me  to 
the  governess  ;  I  now  feel  inclined  to  be  satisfied  with  bad 
teeth.  Then  another  person,  to  whom  these  features  may 
allude,  occurs  to  me.  She  is  not  my  patient,  and  I  do  not 
wish  her  to  be  my  patient,  for  I  have  noticed  that  she  is  not 
at  her  ease  with  me,  and  I  do  not  consider  her  a  docile  patient. 
She  is  generally  pale,  and  once,  when  she  had  a  particularly 


good  spell,  she  was  bloated.*  I  have  thus  compared  my 
patient  Irma  with  two  others,  who  would  likewise  resist 
treatment.  What  can  it  mean  that  I  have  exchanged  her  for 
her  friend  in  the  dream  %  Perhaps  that  I  wish  to  exchange 
her  ;  either  the  other  one  arouses  in  me  stronger  sympathies 
or  I  have  a  higher  opinion  of  her  intelligence.  For  I  consider 
Irma  foolish  because  she  does  not  accept  my  solution.  The 
other  one  would  be  more  sensible,  and  would  thus  be  more 
likely  to  yield.  The  mouth  then  really  opens  without  difficulty ; 
she  would  tell  more  than  Irma.| 

What  I  see  in  the  throat ;  a  white  spot  and  scabby  nostrils. 

The  white  spot  recalls  diphtheria,  and  thus  Irma's  friend, 
but  besides  this  it  recalls  the  grave  illness  of  my  eldest  daughter 
two  years  before  and  all  the  anxiety  of  that  unfortunate  time. 
The  scab  on  the  nostrils  reminds  me  of  a  concern  about  my  own 
health.  At  that  time  I  often  used  cocaine  in  order  to  suppress 
annoying  swellings  in  the  nose,  and  had  heard  a  few  days  before 
that  a  lady  patient  who  did  likewise  had  contracted  an  ex- 
tensive necrosis  of  the  nasal  mucous  membrane.  The  re- 
commendation of  cocaine,  which  I  had  made  in  1885,  had  also 
brought  grave  reproaches  upon  me.  A  dear  friend,  already 
dead  in  1895,  had  hastened  his  end  through  the  misuse  of  this 

I  quickly  call  Dr.  M.,  who  repeats  the  examination. 

This  would  simply  correspond  to  the  position  which  M. 
occupied  among  us.  But  the  word  "  quickly "  is  striking 
enough  to  demand  a  special  explanation.  It  reminds  me  of  a 
sad  medical  experience.  By  the  continued  prescription  of  a 
remedy  (sulfonal)  which  was  still  at  that  time  considered 
harmless,  I  had  once  caused  the  severe  intoxication  of  a 
woman  patient,  and  I  had  turned  in  great  haste  to  an  older, 

*  The  complaint,  as  yet  unexplained,  of  pains  in  the  abdomen,  may  also 
be  referred  to  this  third  person.  It  is  my  own  wife,  of  course,  who  is  in 
question ;  the  abdominal  pains  remind  me  of  one  of  the  occasions  upon 
which  her  shyness  became  evident  to  me.  1  must  myself  admit  that  1  do 
not  treat  Irma  and  my  wife  very  gallantly  in  this  dream,  but  let  it  be  said 
for  my  excuse  that  I  am  judging  both  of  them  by  the  standard  of  the 
courageous,  docile,  female  patient. 

f  I  suspect  that  the  interpretation  of  this  portion  has  not  been  carried 
far  enough  to  follow  every  hidden  meaning.  If  I  were  to  continue  the 
comparison  of  the  three  women,  I  would  go  far  afield.  Every  dream  has  at 
least  one  point  at  which  it  is  unfathomable,  a  central  point,  as  it  were,  con- 
necting it  with  the  unknown. 


more  experienced  colleague  for  assistance.  The  fact  that  I 
really  had  this  case  in  mind  is  confirmed  by  an  accessory 
circumstance.  The  patient,  who  succumbed  to  the  intoxica- 
tion, bore  the  same  name  as  my  eldest  daughter.  I  had  never 
thought  of  this  until  now  ;  now  it  seems  to  me  almost  like  a 
retribution  of  fate — as  though  I  ought  to  continue  the  replace- 
ment of  the  persons  here  in  another  sense  ;  this  Matilda  for 
that  Matilda  ;  an  eye  for  an  eye,  a  tooth  for  a  tooth.  It  is  as 
though  I  were  seeking  every  opportunity  to  reproach  myself 
with  lack  of  medical  conscientiousness. 

Dr.  M.  is  pale,  without  a  beard  on  his  chin,  and  he  limps. 

Of  this  so  much  is  correct,  that  his  unhealthy  appearance 
often  awakens  the  concern  of  his  friends.  The  other  two 
characteristics  must  belong  to  another  person.  A  brother 
living  abroad  occurs  to  me,  who  wears  his  chin  clean-shaven, 
and  to  whom,  if  I  remember  aright,  M.  of  the  dream  on  the 
whole  bears  some  resemblance.  About  him  the  news  arrived 
some  days  before  that  he  was  lame  on  account  of  an  arthritic 
disease  in  the  hip.  There  must  be  a  reason  why  I  fuse  the  two 
persons  into  one  in  the  dream.  I  remember  that  in  fact  I 
was  on  bad  terms  with  both  of  them  for  similar  reasons.  Both 
of  them  had  rejected  a  certain  proposal  which  I  had  recently 
made  to  them. 

My  friend  Otto  is  now  standing  next  to  the  sick  woman,  and 
my  friend  Leopold  examines  her  and  calls  attention  to  a  dulness 
on  the  left  below. 

My  friend  Leopold  is  also  a  physician,  a  relative  of  Otto. 
Since  the  two  practise  the  same  specialty,  fate  has  made  them 
competitors,  who  are  continually  being  compared  with  each 
other.  Both  of  them  assisted  me  for  years,  while  I  was  still 
directing  a  public  dispensary  for  nervous  children.  Scenes 
like  the  one  reproduced  in  the  dream  have  often  taken  place 
there.  While  I  was  debating  with  Otto  about  the  diagnosis  of 
a  case,  Leopold  had  examined  the  child  anew  and  had  made 
an  unexpected  contribution  towards  the  decision.  For  there 
was  a  difference  of  character  between  the  two  similar  to  that 
between  Inspector  Brassig  and  his  friend  Charles.  The  one 
was  distinguished  for  his  brightness,  the  other  was  slow, 
thoughtful,  but  thorough.  If  I  contrast  Otto  and  the  careful 
Leopold  in  the  dream,  I  do  it,  apparently,  in  order  to  extol 


Leopold.  It  is  a  comparison  similar  to  the  one  above  between 
the  disobedient  patient  Irma  and  her  friend  who  is  thought  to 
be  more  sensible.  I  now  become  aware  of  one  of  the  tracks 
along  which  the  thought  association  of  the  dream  progresses  ; 
from  the  sick  child  to  the  children's  asylum.  The  dulness  to 
the  left,  below,  recalls  a  certain  case  corresponding  to  it,  in 
every  detail  in  which  Leopold  astonished  me  by  his  thorough- 
ness. Besides  this,  I  have  a  notion  of  something  like  a  metastatic 
affection,  but  it  might  rather  be  a  reference  to  the  lady  patient 
whom  I  should  like  to  have  instead  of  Irma.  For  this  lady,  as 
far  as  I  can  gather,  resembles  a  woman  suffering  from  tuber- 

An  infiltrated  portion  of  shin  on  the  left  shoulder. 

I  see  at  once  that  this  is  my  own  rheumatism  of  the  shoulder, 
which  I  always  feel  when  I  have  remained  awake  until  late  at 
night.  The  turn  of  phrase  in  the  dream  also  sounds  ambiguous  ; 
something  which  I  feel  ...  in  spite  of  the  dress.  "  Feel  on 
my  own  body  "  is  intended.  Moreover,  I  am  struck  with  the 
unusual  sound  of  the  term  "  infiltrated  portion  of  skin."  "  An 
infiltration  behind  on  the  upper  left  "  is  what  we  are  accus- 
tomed to  ;  this  would  refer  to  the  lung,  and  thus  again  to 
tuberculosis  patients. 

In  spite  of  the  dress. 

This,  to  be  sure,  is  only  an  interpolation.  We,  of  course, 
examine  the  children  in  the  clinic  undressed  ;  it  is  some  sort 
of  contradiction  to  the  manner  in  which  grown-up  female 
patients  must  be  examined.  The  story  used  to  be  told  of  a 
prominent  clinician  that  he  always  examined  his  patients 
physically  only  through  the  clothes.  The  rest  is  obscure  to 
me ;  I  have,  frankly,  no  inclination  to  follow  the  matter 

Dr.  M.  says :  "It  is  an  infection,  but  it  does  not  matter. 
Dysentery  will  develop,  and  the  poison  will  be  excreted. 

This  at  first  seems  ridiculous  to  me  ;  still  it  must  be  care- 
fully analysed  like  everything  else.  Observed  more  closely, 
it  seems,  however,  to  have  a  kind  of  meaning.  What  I  had 
found  in  the  patient  was  local  diphtheritis.  I  remember  the 
discussion  about  diphtheritis  and  diphtheria  at  the  time  of 
my  daughter's  illness.  The  latter  is  the  general  infection 
which  proceeds  from   local  diphtheritis.     Leopold  proves  the 


existence  of  such  general  infection  by  means  of  the  dulness, 
which  thus  suggests  a  metastatic  lesion.  I  believe,  however, 
that  just  this  kind  of  metastasis  does  not  occur  in  the  case  of 
diphtheria.     It  rather  recalls  pyaemia. 

It  does  not  matter,  is  a  consolation.  I  believe  it  fits  in  as 
follows  :  The  last  part  of  the  dream  has  yielded  a  content  to 
the  effect  that  the  pains  of  the  patient  are  the  result  of  a  serious 
organic  affection.  I  begin  to  suspect  that  with  this  I  am  only 
trying  to  shift  the  blame  from  myself.  Psychic  treatment 
cannot  be  held  responsible  for  the  continued  presence  of 
diphtheritic  affection.  But  now,  in  turn,  I  am  disturbed  at 
inventing  such  serious  suffering  for  Irma  for  the  sole  purpose 
of  exculpating  myself.  It  seems  cruel.  I  need  (accordingly) 
the  assurance  that  the  result  will  be  happy,  and  it  does  not 
seem  ill-advised  that  I  should  put  the  words  of  consolation 
into  the  mouth  of  Dr.  M.  But  here  I  consider  myself  superior 
to  the  dream,  a  fact  which  needs  explanation. 

But  why  is  this  consolation  so  nonsensical  ? 

Dysentery : 

Some  sort  of  far-fetched  theoretical  notion  that  pathological 
material  may  ■  be  removed  through  the  intestines.  Am  I  in 
this  way  trying  to  make  fun  of  Dr.  M.'s  great  store  of  far- 
fetched explanations,  his  habit  of  finding  curious  pathological 
relationships  ?  Dysentery  suggests  something  else.  A  few 
months  ago  I  had  in  charge  a  young  man  suffering  from  re- 
markable pains  during  evacuation  of  the  bowels,  a  case  which 
colleagues  had  treated  as  "  anaemia  with  malnutrition."  I 
realised  that  it  was  a  question  of  hysteria  ;  I  was  unwilling 
to  use  my  psychotherapy  on  him,  and  sent  him  off  on  a  sea 
voyage.  Now  a  few  days  before  I  had  received  a  despairing 
letter  from  him  from  Egypt,  saying  that  while  there  he  had 
suffered  a  new  attack,  which  the  physician  had  declared  to  be 
dysentery.  I  suspect,  indeed,  that  the  diagnosis  was  only  an 
error  of  my  ignorant  colleague,  who  allows  hysteria  to  make  a 
fool  of  him  ;  but  still  I  cannot  avoid  reproaching  myself  for 
putting  the  invalid  in  a  position  where  he  might  contract  an 
organic  affection  of  the  bowels  in  addition  to  his  hysteria. 
Furthermore,  dysentery  sounds  like  diphtheria,  a  word  which 
docs  not  occur  in  the  dream. 

Indeed   it   must   be   that,   with   the   consoling   prognosis  : 


"Dysentery  will  develop,  &c,"  I  am  making  fun  of  Dr.  M., 
for  I  recollect  that  years  ago  he  once  jokingly  told  a  very  similar 
story  of  another  colleague.  He  had  been  called  to  consult 
with  this  colleague  in  the  case  of  a  woman  who  was  very 
seriously  ill  and  had  felt  obliged  to  confront  the  other  phy- 
sician, who  seemed  very  hopeful,  with  the  fact  that  he  found 
albumen  in  the  patient's  urine.  The  colleague,  however,  did 
not  let  this  worry  him,  but  answered  calmly  :  "  That  does  not 
matter,  doctor ;  the  albumen  will  without  doubt  be  excreted." 
Thus  I  can  no  longer  doubt  that  derision  for  those  colleagues 
who  are  ignorant  of  hysteria  is  contained  in  this  part  of  the 
dream.  As  though  in  confirmation,  this  question  now  arises 
in  my  mind  :  "  Does  Dr.  M.  know  that  the  symptoms  of  his 
patient,  of  our  friend  Irma,  which  give  cause  for  fearing 
tuberculosis,  are  also  based  on  hysteria  ?  Has  he  recognised 
this  hysteria,  or  has  he  stupidly  ignored  it  ?  " 

But  what  can  be  my  motive  in  treating  this  friend  so  badly  ? 
This  is  very  simple  :  Dr.  M.  agrees  with  my  solution  as  little 
as  Irma  herself.  I  have  thus  already  in  this  dream  taken 
revenge  on  two  persons,  on  Irma  in  the  words,  "  If  you  still 
have  pains,  it  is  your  own  fault,"  and  on  Dr.  M.  in  the  wording 
of  the  nonsensical  consolation  which  has  been  put  into  his 

We  have  immediate  knowledge  of  the  origin  of  the  infection. 

This  immediate  knowledge  in  the  dream  is  very  remarkable. 
Just  before  we  did  not  know  it,  since  the  infection  was  first 
demonstrated  by  Leopold. 

My  friend  Otto  has  recently  given  her  an  injection  when  she 
felt  ill. 

Otto  had  actually  related  that  in  the  short  time  of  his  visit 
to  Irma's  family,  he  had  been  called  to  a  neighbouring  hotel 
in  order  to  give  an  injection  to  some  one  who  fell  suddenly  ill. 
Injections  again  recall  the  unfortunate  friend  who  has  poisoned 
himself  with  cocaine.  I  had  recommended  the  remedy  to 
him  merely  for  internal  use  during  the  withdrawal  of  morphine, 
but  he  once  gave  himself  injections  of  cocaine. 

With  a  propyl  preparation  .  .  .  propyls  .  .  .  propionic  acid. 
How  did  this  ever  occur  to  me  ?  On  the  same  evening  on 
which  I  had  written  part  of  the  history  of  the  disease  before 
having  the  dream,  my  wife  opened  a  bottle  of  cordial  labelled 



"  Ananas,"  *  (which  was  a  present  from  our  friend  Otto. 
For  he  had  a  habit  of  making  presents  on  every  possible 
occasion  ;  I  hope  he  will  some  day  be  cured  of  this  by  a  wife).f 
Such  a  smell  of  fusel  oil  arose  from  this  cordial  that  I  refused 
to  taste  it.  My  wife  observed  :  "  We  will  give  this  bottle  to 
the  servants,"  and  I,  still  more  prudent,  forbade  it,  with  the 
philanthropic  remark  :  "  They  mustn't  be  poisoned  either."  The 
smell  of  fusel  oil  (amyl  .  .  .)  has  now  apparently  awakened 
in  my  memory  the  whole  series,  propyl,  methyl,  &c,  which  has 
furnished  the  propyl  preparation  of  the  dream.  In  this,  it  is 
true,  I  have  employed  a  substitution ;  I  have  dreamt  of 
propyl,  after  smelling  amyl,  but  substitutions  of  this  kind  are 
perhaps  permissible,  especially  in  organic  chemistry. 

Trimethylamin.  I  see  the  chemical  formula  of  this  substance 
in  the  dream,  a  fact  which  probably  gives  evidence  of  a  great 
effort  on  the  part  of  my  memory,  and,  moreover,  the  formula  is 
printed  in  heavy  type,  as  if  to  lay  special  stress  upon  something 
of  particular  importance,  as  distinguished  from  the  context.  To 
what  does  this  trimethylamin  lead,  which  has  been  so  forcibly 
called  to  my  attention  ?  It  leads  to  a  conversation  with 
another  friend  who  for  years  has  known  all  my  germinating 
activities,  as  I  have  his.  At  that  time  he  had  just  informed 
me  of  some  of  his  ideas  about  sexual  chemistry,  and  had 
mentioned,  among  others,  that  he  thought  he  recognised  in  tri- 
methylamin one  of  the  products  of  sexual  metabolism.  This 
substance  thus  leads  me  to  sexuality,  to  that  factor  which  I 
credit  with  the  greatest  significance  for  the  origin  of  the  nervous 
affections  which  I  attempt  to  cure.  My  patient  Irma  is  a 
young  widow  ;  if  I  am  anxious  to  excuse  the  failure  of  her 
cure,  I  suppose  I  shall  best  do  so  by  referring  to  this  condition, 
which  her  admirers  would  be  glad  to  change.  How  remarkably, 
too,  such  a  dream  is  fashioned  !  The  other  woman,  whom  I 
take  as  my  patient  in  the  dream  instead  of  Irma,  is  also  a 
young  widow. 

I   suspect  why  the  formula   of  trimethylamin  has   made 

*  "  Ananas,"  moreover,  has  a  remarkable  assonance  to  the  family  name  of 
my  patient  Irma. 

t  In  this  the  dream  did  not  tiirn  out  to  be  prophetic.  But  in  another 
sense,  it  proved  correct,  for  the  "  unsolved  "  stomach  pains,  for  which  I  did 
not  want  to  be  to  blame,  were  the  forerunners  of  a  serious  illness  caused  by 
gall  stones. 


itself  so  prominent  in  the  dream.  So  many  important  things 
are  gathered  up  in  this  one  word  :  Trimethylamin  is  not  only 
an  allusion  to  the  overpowering  factor  of  sexuality,  but  also 
to  a  person  whose  sympathy  I  remember  with  satisfaction  when 
I  feel  myself  forsaken  in  my  opinions.  Should  not  this  friend, 
who  plays  such  a  large  part  in  my  life,  occur  again  in  the  chain 
of  thoughts  of  the  dream  ?  Of  course,  he  must ;  he  is  par- 
ticularly acquainted  with  the  results  which  proceed  from 
affections  of  the  nose  and  its  adjacent  cavities,  and  has  re- 
vealed to  science  several  highly  remarkable  relations  of  the 
turbinated  bones  to  the  female  sexual  organs  (the  three 
curly  formations  in  Irma's  throat).  I  have  had  Irma  examined 
by  him  to  see  whether  the  pains  in  her  stomach  might  be 
of  nasal  origin.  But  he  himself  suffers  from  suppurative 
rhinitis,  which  worries  him,  and  to  this  perhaps  there  is  an 
allusion  in  pyaemia,  which  hovers  before  me  in  the  metastases 
of  the  dream. 

Such  injections  are  not  made  so  rashly.  Here  the  reproach  of 
carelessness  is  hurled  directly  at  my  friend  Otto.  I  am  under 
the  impression  that  I  had  some  thought  of  this  sort  in  the 
afternoon,  when  he  seemed  to  indicate  his  siding  against 
me  by  word  and  look.  It  was  perhaps  :  "  How  easily  he 
can  be  influenced  ;  how  carelessly  he  pronounces  judgment." 
Furthermore,  the  above  sentence  again  points  to  my  deceased 
friend,  who  so  lightly  took  refuge  in  cocaine  injections.  As 
I  have  said,  I  had  not  intended  injections  of  the  remedy  at 
all.  I  see  that  in  reproaching  Otto  I  again  touch  upon  the 
story  of  the  unfortunate  Matilda,  from  which  arises  the  same 
reproach  against  me.  Obviously  I  am  here  collecting  examples 
of  my  own  conscientiousness,  but  also  of  the  opposite. 

Probably  also  the  syringe  was  not  clean.  Another  reproach 
directed  at  Otto,  but  originating  elsewhere.  The  day  before  I 
happened  to  meet  the  son  of  a  lady  eighty-two  years  of  age 
whom  I  am  obliged  to  give  daily  two  injections  of  morphine. 
At  present  she  is  in  the  country,  and  I  have  heard  that  she  is 
suffering  from  an  inflammation  of  the  veins.  I  immediately 
thought  that  it  was  a  case  of  infection  due  to  contamination 
from  the  syringe.  It  is  my  pride  that  in  two  years  I  have  not 
given  her  a  single  infection  ;  I  am  constantly  concerned,  of 
course,  to  see  that  the  syringe  is  perfectly  clean.     For  I  am 


conscientious.  From  the  inflammation  of  the  veins,  I  return 
to  my  wife,  who  had  suffered  from  emboli  during  a  period  of 
pregnancy,  and  now  three  related  situations  come  to  the 
surface  in  my  memory,  involving  my  wife,  Irma,  and  the 
deceased  Matilda,  the  identity  of  which  three  persons  plainly 
justifies  my  putting  them  in  one  another's  place. 

I  have  now  completed  the  interpretation  of  the  dream.* 
In  the  course  of  this  interpretation  I  have  taken  great  pains 
to  get  possession  of  all  the  notions  to  which  a  comparison 
between  the  dream  content  and  the  dream  thoughts  hidden 
behind  it  must  have  given  rise.  Meanwhile,  the  "  meaning  " 
of  the  dream  has  dawned  upon  me.  I  have  become  conscious 
of  a  purpose  which  is  realised  by  means  of  the  dream,  and  which 
must  have  been  the  motive  for  dreaming.  The  dream  fulfils 
several  wishes,  which  have  been  actuated  in  me  by  the  events 
of  the  preceding  evening  (Otto's  news,  and  the  writing  down  of 
the  history  of  the  disease).  For  the  result  of  the  dream  is 
that  I  am  not  to  blame  for  the  suffering  which  Irma  still  has, 
and  that  Otto  is  to  blame  for  it.  Now  Otto  has  made  me  angry 
by  his  remark  about  Irma's  imperfect  cure  ;  the  dream  avenges 
me  upon  him  by  turning  the  reproach  back  upon  himself. 
The  dream  acquits  me  of  responsibility  for  Irma's  condition 
by  referring  it  to  other  causes,  which  indeed  furnish  a  great 
number  of  explanations.  The  dream  represents  a  certain 
condition  of  affairs  as  I  should  wish  it  to  be  ;  the  content  of  the 
dream  is  thus  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish  ;  its  motive  is  a  wish. 

This  much  is  apparent  at  first  sight.  But  many  things  in 
the  details  of  the  dream  become  intelligible  when  regarded  from 
the  point  of  view  of  wish-fulfilment.  I  take  revenge  on  Otto, 
not  only  for  hastily  taking  part  against  me,  in  that  I  accuse 
him  of  a  careless  medical  operation  (the  injection),  but  I  am 
also  avenged  on  him  for  the  bad  cordial  which  smells  like  fusel 
oil,  and  I  find  an  expression  in  the  dream  which  unites  both 
reproaches  ;  the  injection  with  a  preparation  of  propyl.  Still 
I  am  not  satisfied,  but  continue  my  revenge  by  comparing 
him  to  his  more  reliable  competitor.  I  seem  to  say  by  this  : 
"  I  like  him  better  than  you."  But  Otto  is  not  the  only  one 
who  must  feel  the  force  of  my  anger.     I  take  revenge  on  the 

*  Even  if  I  have  not,  as  may  be  understood,  given  account  of  everything 
which  occurred  to  me  in  connection  with  the  work  of  interpretation. 


disobedient  patient  by  exchanging  her  for  a  more  sensible, 
more  docile  one.  Nor  do  I  leave  the  contradiction  of  Dr.  M. 
unnoticed,  but  express  my  opinion  of  him  in  an  obvious 
allusion,  to  the  effect  that  his  relation  to  the  question  is  that  of 
an  ignoramus  ("  dysentery  will  develop"  &c). 

It  seems  to  me,  indeed,  as  though  I  were  appealing  from  him 
to  some  one  better  informed  (my  friend,  who  has  told  me  about 
trimethylamin) ;  just  as  I  have  turned  from  Irma  to  her 
friend,  I  turn  from  Otto  to  Leopold.  Rid  me  of  these  three 
persons,  replace  them  by  three  others  of  my  own  choice,  and 
I  shall  be  released  from  the  reproaches  which  I  do  not  wish 
to  have  deserved  !  The  unreasonableness  itself  of  these  re- 
proaches is  proved  to  me  in  the  dream  in  the  most  elaborate 
way.  Irma's  pains  are  not  charged  to  me,  because  she  herself 
is  to  blame  for  them,  in  that  she  refuses  to  accept  my  solution. 
Irma's  pains  are  none  of  my  business,  for  they  are  of  an 
organic  nature,  quite  impossible  to  be  healed  by  a  psychic 
cure.  Irma's  sufferings  are  satisfactorily  explained  by  her 
widowhood  (trimethylamin !)  ;  a  fact  which,  of  course,  I 
cannot  alter.  Irma's  illness  has  been  caused  by  an  incautious 
injection  on  the  part  of  Otto,  with  an  ill-suited  substance — 
in  a  way  I  should  never  have  made  an  injection.  Irma's 
suffering  is  the  result  of  an  injection  made  with  an  unclean 
syringe,  just  like  the  inflammation  of  the  veins  in  my  old 
lady,  while  I  never  do  any  such  mischief  with  my  injections. 
I  am  aware,  indeed,  that  these  explanations  of  Irma's  illness, 
which  unite  in  acquitting  me,  do  not  agree  with  one  another  ; 
they  even  exclude  one  another.  The  whole  pleading — this 
dream  is  nothing  else — recalls  vividly  the  defensive  argument 
of  a  man  who  was  accused  by  his  neighbour  of  having  returned 
a  kettle  to  him  in  a  damaged  condition.  In  the  first  place, 
he  said,  he  had  returned  the  kettle  undamaged  ;  in  the  second, 
it  already  had  holes  in  it  when  he  borrowed  it ;  and  thirdly,  he 
had  never  borrowed  the  kettle  from  his  neighbour  at  all.  But 
so  much  the  better  ;  if  even  one  of  these  three  methods  of 
defence  is  recognised  as  valid,  the  man  must  be  acquitted. 

Still  other  subjects  mingle  in  the  dream,  whose  relation 
to  my  release  from  responsibility  for  Irma's  illness  is  not  so 
transparent :  the  illness  of  my  daughter  and  that  of  a  patient 
of  the  same  name,  the  harmfulness  of  cocaine,  the  illness  of 


my  patient  travelling  in  Egypt,  concern  about  the  health  of 
my  wife,  my  brother,  of  Dr.  M.,  my  own  bodily  troubles,  and 
concern  about  the  absent  friend  who  is  suffering  from  sup- 
purative rhinitis.  But  if  I  keep  all  these  things  in  view,  they 
combine  into  a  single  train  of  thought,  labelled  perhaps  : 
Concern  for  the  health  of  myself  and  others — professional  con- 
scientiousness. I  recall  an  undefined  disagreeable  sensation 
as  Otto  brought  me  the  news  of  Irma's  condition.  I  should 
like  to  note  finally  the  expression  of  this  fleeting  sensation, 
which  is  part  of  the  train  of  thought  that  is  mingled  into  the 
dream.  It  is  as  though  Otto  had  said  to  me  :  "  You  do  not 
take  your  physician's  duties  seriously  enough,  you  are  not 
conscientious,  do  not  keep  your  promises."  Thereupon  this 
train  of  thought  placed  itself  at  my  service  in  order  that  I 
might  exhibit  proof  of  the  high  degree  in  which  I  am  con- 
scientious, how  intimately  I  am  concerned  with  the  health 
of  my  relatives,  friends,  and  patients.  Curiously  enough,  there 
are  also  in  this  thought  material  some  painful  memories,  which 
correspond  rather  to  the  blame  attributed  to  Otto  than  to 
the  accusation  against  me.  The  material  has  the  appearance 
of  being  impartial,  but  the  connection  between  this  broader 
material,  upon  which  the  dream  depends,  and  the  more  limited 
theme  of  the  dream  which  gives  rise  to  the  wish  to  be  innocent 
of  Irma's  illness,  is  nevertheless  unmistakable. 

I  do  not  wish  to  claim  that  I  have  revealed  the  meaning 
of  the  dream  entirely,  or  that  the  interpretation  is  flawless. 

I  could  still  spend  much  time  upon  it ;  I  could  draw  further 
explanations  from  it,  and  bring  up  new  problems  which  it 
bids  us  consider.  I  even  know  the  points  from  which  further 
thought  associations  might  be  traced  ;  but  such  considerations 
as  are  connected  with  every  dream  of  one's  own  restrain  me 
from  the  work  of  interpretation.  Whoever  is  ready  to  con- 
demn such  reserve,  may  himself  try  to  be  more  straightforward 
than  I.  I  am  content  with  the  discovery  which  has  been  just 
made.  If  the  method  of  dream  interpretation  here  indicated 
is  followed,  it  will  be  found  that  the -dream  really  has  meaning, 
and  is  by  no  means  the  expression  of  fragmentary  brain 
activity,  which  the  authors  would  have  us  believe.  When  the 
work  of  interpretation  has  been  completed  the  dream  may  be 
recognised  as  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish. 



When  after  passing  a  defile  one  has  reached  an  eminence 
where  the  ways  part  and  where  the  view  opens  out  broadly 
in  different  directions,  it  is  permissible  to  stop  for  a  moment 
and  to  consider  where  one  is  to  turn  next.  Something  like 
this  happens  to  us  after  we  have  mastered  this  first  dream 
interpretation.  We  find  ourselves  in  the  open  light  of  a  sudden 
cognition.  The  dream  is  not  comparable  to  the  irregular 
sounds  of  a  musical  instrument,  which,  instead  of  being  touched 
by  the  hand  of  the  musician,  is  struck  by  some  outside  force  ; 
the  dream  is  not  senseless,  not  absurd,  does  not  presuppose 
that  a  part  of  our  store  of  ideas  is  dormant  while  another  part 
begins  to  awaken.  It  is  a  psychic  phenomenon  of  full  value, 
and  indeed  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish  ;  it  takes  its  place  in  the 
concatenation  of  the  waking  psychic  actions  which  are  intelli- 
gible to  us,  and  it  has  been  built  up  by  a  highly  complicated 
intellectual  activity.  But  at  the  very  moment  when  we  are 
inclined  to  rejoice  in  this  discovery,  a  crowd  of  questions  over- 
whelms us.  If  the  dream,  according  to  the  interpretation, 
represents  a  wish  fulfilled,  what  is  the  cause  of  the  peculiar 
and  unfamiliar  manner  in  which  this  fulfilment  is  expressed  ? 
What  changes  have  occurred  in  the  dream  thoughts  before  they 
are  transformed  into  the  manifest  dream  which  we  remember 
upon  awaking  ?  In  what  manner  has  this  transformation 
taken  place  ?  Whence  comes  the  material  which  has  been 
worked  over  into  the  dream  ?  What  causes  the  peculiarities 
which  we  observe  in  the  dream  thoughts,  for  example,  that 
they  may  contradict  one  another  ?  (The  analogy  of  the  kettle, 
p.  87).  Is  the  dream  capable  of  teaching  us  something  new 
about  our  inner  psychic  processes,  and  can  its  content  correct 
opinions  which  we  have  held  during  the  day  ?  I  suggest 
that  for  the  present  all  these  questions  be  laid  aside,  and  that 
a  single  path  be  pursued.     We  have  found  that  the  dream 



represents  a  wish  as  fulfilled.  It  will  be  our  next  interest  to 
ascertain  whether  this  is  a  universal  characteristic  of  the 
dream,  or  only  the  accidental  content  of  the  dream  ("  of  Irma's 
injection  ")  with  which  we  have  begun  our  analysis,  for  even 
if  we  make  up  our  minds  that  every  dream  has  a  meaning  and 
psychic  value,  we  must  nevertheless  allow  for  the  possibility 
that  this  meaning  is  not  the  same  in  every  dream.  The  first 
dream  we  have  considered  was  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish  ;  another 
may  turn  out  to  be  a  realised  apprehension  ;  a  third  may  have 
a  reflection  as  to  its  content ;  a  fourth  may  simply  reproduce 
a  reminiscence.  Are  there  then  other  wish  dreams  ;  or  are 
there  possibly  nothing  but  wish  dreams  ? 

It  is  easy  to  show  that  the  character  of  wish-fulfilment  in 
dreams  is  often  undisguised  and  recognisable,  so  that  one 
may  wonder  why  the  language  of  dreams  has  not  long  since 
been  understood.  There  is,  for  example,  a  dream  which  I 
can  cause  as  often  as  I  like,  as  it  were  experimentally.  If  in 
the  evening  I  eat  anchovies,  olives,  or  other  strongly  salted 
foods,  I  become  thirsty  at  night,  whereupon  I  waken.  The 
awakening,  however,  is  preceded  by  a  dream,  which  each  time 
has  the  same  content,  namely,  that  I  am  drinking.  I  quaff 
water  in  long  draughts,  it  tastes  as  sweet  as  only  a  cool  drink 
can  taste  when  one's  throat  is  parched,  and  then  I  awake 
and  have  an  actual  desire  to  drink.  The  occasion  for  this 
dream  is  thirst,  which  I  perceive  when  I  awake.  The  wish 
to  drink  originates  from  this  sensation,  and  the  dream  shows 
me  this  wish  as  fulfilled.  It  thereby  serves  a  function  the 
nature  of  which  I  soon  guess.  I  sleep  well,  and  am  not  accus- 
tomed to  be  awakened  by  a  bodily  need.  If  I  succeed  in 
assuaging  my  thirst  by  means  of  the  dream  that  I  am  drinking, 
I  need  not  wake  up  in  order  to  satisfy  it.  It  is  thus  a  dream 
of  convenience.  The  dream  substitutes  itself  for  action,  as 
elsewhere  in  life.  Unfortunately  the  need  of  water  for  quench- 
ing thirst  cannot  be  satisfied  with  a  dream,  like  my  thirst  for 
revenge  upon  Otto  and  Dr.  M.,  but  the  intention  is  the  same. 
This  same  dream  recently  appeared  in  modified  form.  On 
this  occasion  I  became  thirsty  before  going  to  bed,  and  emptied 
the  glass  of  water  which  stood  on  the  little  chest  next  to  my 
bed.  Several  hours  later  in  the  night  came  a  new  attack  of 
thirst,  accompanied  by  discomfort.     In  order  to  obtain  water, 

THE   FULFILMENT   OF   A   WISH       105 

I  should  have  had  to  get  up  and  fetch  the  glass  which  stood  on 
the  night-chest  of  my  wife.  I  thus  quite  appropriately  dreamt 
that  my  wife  was  giving  me  a  drink  from  a  vase  ;  this  vase 
was  an  Etruscan  cinerary  urn  which  I  had  brought  home 
from  an  Italian  journey  and  had  since  given  away.  But  the 
water  in  it  tasted  so  salty  (apparently  from  the  ashes)  that 
I  had  to  wake.  It  may  be  seen  how  conveniently  the  dream 
is  capable  of  arranging  matters  ;  since  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish 
is  its  only  purpose,  it  may  be  perfectly  egotistic.  Love  of 
comfort  is  really  not  compatible  with  consideration  for  others. 
The  introduction  of  the  cinerary  urn  is  probably  again  the 
fulfilment  of  a  wish  ;  I  am  sorry  that  I  no  longer  possess  this 
vase  ;  it,  like  the  glass  of  water  at  my  wife's  side,  is  inaccessible 
to  me.  The  cinerary  urn  is  also  appropriate  to  the  sensation 
of  a  salty  taste  which  has  now  grown  stronger,  and  which  I 
know  will  force  me  to  wake  up.* 

Such  convenience  dreams  were  very  frequent  with  me  in 
the  years  of  my  youth.  Accustomed  as  I  had  always  been  to 
work  until  late  at  night,  early  awakening  was  always  a  matter 
of  difficulty  for  me.  I  used  then  to  dream  that  I  was  out  of 
bed  and  was  standing  at  the  wash-stand.  After  a  while  I 
could  not  make  myself  admit  that  I  have  not  yet  got  up,  but 
meanwhile  I  had  slept  for  a  time.  I  am  acquainted  with  the 
same  dream  of  laziness  as  dreamt  by  a  young  colleague  of 
mine,  who  seems  to  share  my  propensity  for  sleep.  The 
lodging-house  keeper  with  whom  he  was  living  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  hospital  had  strict  orders  to  wake  him  on 
time  every  morning,  but  she  certainly  had  a  lot  of  trouble  when 
she  tried  to  carry  out  his  orders.  One  morning  sleep  was 
particularly  sweet.  The  woman  called  into  the  room  :  "  Mr. 
Joe,  get  up  ;  you  must  go  to  the  hospital."     Whereupon  the 

*  The  facts  about  dreams  of  thirst  were  known  also  to  Weygandt,75  who 
expresses  himself  about  them  (p.  11)  as  follows  :  "It  is  just  the  sensation  of 
thirst  which  is  most  accurately  registered  of  all ;  it  always  causes  a  repre- 
sentation of  thirst  quenching.  The  manner  in  which  the  dream  pictures  the 
act  of  thirst  quenching  is  manifold,  and  is  especially  apt  to  be  formed  accord- 
ing to  a  recent  reminiscence.  Here  also  a  universal  phenomenon  is  that 
disappointment  in  the  slight  efficacy  of  the  supposed  refreshments  sets  in 
immediately  after  the  idea  that  thirst  has  been  quenched."  But  he  over- 
looks the  fact  that  the  reaction  of  the  dream  to  the  stimulus  is  universal. 
If  other  persons  who  are  troubled  by  thirst  at  night  awake  without  dreaming 
beforehand,  this  does  not  constitute  an  objection  to  my  experiment,  but 
characterises  those  others  as  persons  who  sleep  poorly. 


sleeper  dreamt  of  a  room  in  the  hospital,  a  bed  in  which  he 
was  lying,  and  a  chart  pinned  over  his  head  reading  :  "  Joe 
H.  .  .  .  cand.  med.  22  years  old."  He  said  to  himself  in  the 
dream  :  "  If  I  am  already  at  the  hospital,  I  don't  have  to 
go  there,"  turned  over  and  slept  on.  He  had  thus  frankly 
admitted  to  himself  his  motive  for  dreaming. 

Here  is  another  dream,  the  stimulus  for  which  acts  during 
sleep  itself  :  One  of  my  women  patients,  who  had  had  to 
undergo  an  unsuccessful  operation  on  the  jaw,  was  to  wear  a 
cooling  apparatus  on  the  affected  cheek,  according  to  the 
orders  of  the  physicians.  But  she  was  in  the  habit  of  throwing 
it  off  as  soon  as  she  had  got  to  sleep.  One  day  I  was  asked 
to  reprove  her  for  doing  so  ;  for  she  had  again  thrown  the 
apparatus  on  the  floor.  The  patient  defended  herself  as 
follows  :  "  This  time  I  really  couldn't  help  it ;  it  was  the 
result  of  a  dream  which  I  had  in  the  night.  In  the  dream,  I 
was  in  a  box  at  the  opera  and  was  taking  a  lively  interest  in 
the  performance.  But  Mr.  Karl  Meyer  was  lying  in  the  sana- 
torium and  complaining  pitifully  on  account  of  pains  in  his 
jaw.  I  said  to  myself,  '  Since  I  haven't  the  pains,  I  don't 
need  the  apparatus  either,'  that's  why  I  threw  it  away." 
This  dream  of  the  poor  sufferer  is  similar  to  the  idea  in  the 
expression  which  comes  to  our  lips  when  we  are  in  a  disagree- 
able situation  :  "  I  know  something  that's  a  great  deal  more 
fun."  The  dream  presents  this  great  deal  more  fun.  Mr.  Karl 
Meyer,  to  whom  the  dreamer  attributed  her  pains,  was  the 
most  indifferent  young  man  of  her  acquaintance  whom  she 
could  recall. 

It  is  no  more  difficult  to  discover  the  fulfilment  of  wishes 
in  several  dreams  which  I  have  collected  from  healthy  persons. 
A  friend  who  knew  my  theory  of  dreams  and  had  imparted  it 
to  his  wife,  said  to  me  one  day  :  "  My  wife  asked  me  to  tell 
you  that  she  dreamt  yesterday  that  she  was  having  her  menses. 
You  will  know  what  that  means."  Of  course  I  know  :  if  the 
young  wife  dreams  that  she  is  having  her  menses,  the  menses 
have  stopped.  I  can  understand  that  she  would  have  liked 
to  enjoy  her  freedom  for  a  time  longer  before  the  discomforts 
of  motherhood  began.  It  was  a  clever  way  of  giving  notice 
of  her  first  pregnancy.  Another  friend  writes  that  his  wife 
had  recently  dreamt  that  she  noticed  milk  stains  on  the  bosom  of 

THE   FULFILMENT   OF   A   WISH       107 

her  waist.  This  is  also  an  indication  of  pregnancy,  but  this  time 
not  of  the  first  one  ;  the  young  mother  wishes  to  have  more 
nourishment  for  the  second  child  than  she  had  for  the  first. 

A  young  woman,  who  for  weeks  had  been  cut  off  from 
company  because  she  was  nursing  a  child  that  was  suffering 
from  an  infectious  disease,  dreams,  after  its  safe  termination, 
of  a  company  of  people  in  which  A.  Daudet,  Bourget,  M. 
Prevost,  and  others  are  present,  all  of  whom  are  very  pleasant 
to  her  and  entertain  her  admirably.  The  different  authors 
in  the  dream  also  have  the  features  which  their  pictures  give 
them.  M.  Prevost,  with  whose  picture  she  is  not  familiar, 
looks  like — the  disinfecting  man  who  on  the  previous  day 
had  cleaned  the  sick  rooms  and  had  entered  them  as  the  first 
visitor  after  a  long  period.  Apparently  the  dream  might  be 
perfectly  translated  thus  :  "It  is  about  time  now  for  something 
more  entertaining  than  this  eternal  nursing." 

Perhaps  this  selection  will  suffice  to  prove  that  often  and 
under  the  most  complex  conditions  dreams  are  found  which 
can  be  understood  only  as  fulfilments  of  wishes,  and  which 
present  their  contents  without  concealment.  In  most  cases 
these  are  short  and  simple  dreams,  which  stand  in  pleasant 
contrast  to  the  confused  and  teeming  dream  compositions 
which  have  mainly  attracted  the  attention  of  the  authors. 
But  it  will  pay  to  spend  some  time  upon  these  simple  dreams. 
The  most  simple  dreams  of  all,  I  suppose,  are  to  be  expected 
in  the  case  of  children,  whose  psychic  activities  are  certainly 
less  complicated  than  those  of  adults.  The  psychology  of 
children,  in  my  opinion,  is  to  be  called  upon  for  services  similar 
to  those  which  a  study  of  the  anatomy  and  development  of  the 
lower  animals  renders  to  the  investigation  of  the  structure  of 
the  highest  classes  of  animals.  Until  now  only  a  few  conscious 
efforts  have  been  made  to  take  advantage  of  the  psychology 
of  children  for  such  a  purpose. 

The  dreams  of  little  children  are  simple  fulfilments  of  wishes, 
and  as  compared,  therefore,  with  the  dreams  of  adults,  are 
not  at  all  interesting.  They  present  no  problem  to  be  solved, 
but  are  naturally  invaluable  as  affording  proof  that  the  dream 
in  its  essence  signifies  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish.  I  have  been 
able  to  collect  several  examples  of  such  dreams  from  the 
material  furnished  by  my  own  children. 


For  two  dreams,  one  of  my  daughters,  at  that  time  eight 
and  a  half  years  old,  the  other  of  a  boy  five  and  a  quarter  years 
of  age,  I  am  indebted  to  an  excursion  to  the  beautiful  Hallstatt 
in  the  summer  of  1896.  I  must  make  the  preliminary  statement 
that  during  this  summer  we  were  living  on  a  hill  near  Aussee, 
from  which,  when  the  weather  was  good,  we  enjoyed  a  splendid 
view  of  the  Dachstein  from  the  roof  of  our  house.  The  Simony 
Hut  could  easily  be  recognised  with  a  telescope.  The  little 
ones  often  tried  to  see  it  through  the  telescope — I  do  not 
know  with  what  success.  Before  the  excursion  I  had  told 
the  children  that  Hallstatt  lay  at  the  foot  of  the  Dachstein. 
They  looked  forward  to  the  day  with  great  joy.  From  Hall- 
statt  we  entered  the  valley  of  Eschern,  which  highly  pleased 
the  children  with  its  varying  aspects.  One  of  them,  however, 
the  boy  of  five,  gradually  became  discontented.  As  often  as  a 
mountain  came  in  view,  he  would  ask  :  "Is  that  the  Dach- 
stein ?  "  whereupon  I  would  have  to  answer  :  "  No,  only  a 
foot-hill."  After  this  question  had  been  repeated  several 
times,  he  became  altogether  silent ;  and  he  was  quite  unwilling 
to  come  along  on  the  flight  of  steps  to  the  waterfall.  I  thought 
he  was  tired  out.  But  the  next  morning,  he  approached  me 
radiant  with  joy,  and  said  :  "  Last  night  I  dreamt  that  we  were 
at  Simony  Hut."  I  understood  him  now  ;  he  had  expected, 
as  I  was  speaking  of  the  Dachstein,  that  on  the  excursion  to 
Hallstatt,  he  would  ascend  the  mountain  and  would  come  face 
to  face  with  the  hut,  about  which  there  had  been  so  much 
discussion  at  the  telescope.  When  he  learned  that  he  was 
expected  to  be  regaled  with  foot-hills  and  a  waterfall,  he  was 
disappointed  and  became  discontented.  The  dream  com- 
pensated him  for  this.  I  tried  to  learn  some  details  of  the 
dream  ;  they  were  scanty.  "  Steps  must  be  climbed  for  six 
hours,"  as  he  had  heard. 

On  this  excursion  wishes,  destined  to  be  satisfied  only  in 
dreams,  had  arisen  also  in  the  mind  of  the  girl  of  eight  and  a 
half  years.  We  had  taken  with  us  to  Halstatt  the  twelve- 
year-old  boy  of  our  neighbour — an  accomplished  cavalier, 
who,  it  seems  to  me,  already  enjoyed  the  full  sympathy  of  the 
little  woman.  The  next  morning,  then,  she  related  the  follow- 
ing dream  :  "  Just  think,  I  dreamt  that  Emil  was  one  of  us, 
that  he  said  papa  and  mamma  to  you,  and  slept  at  our  house 

THE    FULFILMENT   OF   A   WISH       109 

in  the  big  room  like  our  boys.  Then  mamma  came  into  the 
room  and  threw  a  large  handful  of  chocolate  bars  under  our 
beds."  The  brothers  of  the  girl,  who  evidently  had  not  in- 
herited a  familiarity  with  dream  interpretation,  declared  just 
like  the  authors  :  "  That  dream  is  nonsense."  The  girl 
defended  at  least  a  part  of  the  dream,  and  it  is  worth  while, 
from  the  point  of  view  of  the  theory  of  neuroses,  to  know  which 
part  :  "  That  about  Emil  belonging  to  us  is  nonsense,  but  that 
about  the  bars  of  chocolate  is  not."  It  was  just  this  latter 
part  that  was  obscure  to  me.  For  this  mamma  furnished  me 
the  explanation.  On  the  way  home  from  the  railway  station 
the  children  had  stopped  in  front  of  a  slot  machine,  and  had 
desired  exactly  such  chocolate  bars  wrapped  in  paper  with  a 
metallic  lustre,  as  the  machine,  according  to  their  experience, 
had  for  sale.  But  the  mother  had  rightly  thought  that  the  day 
had  brought  enough  wish-fulfilment,  and  had  left  this  wish  to  be 
satisfied  in  dreams.  This  little  scene  had  escaped  me.  I  at 
once  understood  that  portion  of  the  dream  which  had  been  con- 
demned by  my  daughter.  I  had  myself  heard  the  well-behaved 
guest  enjoining  the  children  to  wait  until  papa  or  mamma  had 
come  up.  For  the  little  one  the  dream  made  a  lasting  adoption 
based  on  this  temporary  relation  of  the  boy  to  us.  Her  tender 
nature  was  as  yet  unacquainted  with  any  form  of  being  together 
except  those  mentioned  in  the  dream,  which  are  taken  from  her 
brothers.  Why  the  chocolate  bars  were  thrown  under  the  bed 
could  not,  of  course,  be  explained  without  questioning  the  child. 
From  a  friend  I  have  learnt  of  a  dream  very  similar  to 
that  of  my  boy.  It  concerned  an  eight-year-old  girl.  The 
father  had  undertaken  a  walk  to  Dornbach  with  the  children, 
intending  to  visit  the  Rohrerhiitte,  but  turned  back  because 
it  had  grown  too  late,  and  promised  the  children  to  make  up 
for  their  disappointment  some  other  time.  On  the  way  back, 
they  passed  a  sign  which  showed  the  way  to  the  Hameau. 
The  children  now  asked  to  be  taken  to  that  place  also,  but  had 
to  be  content,  for  the  same  reason,  with  a  postponement  to 
another  day.  The  next  morning,  the  eight-year-old  girl  came 
to  the  father,  satisfied,  saying  :  "  Papa,  I  dreamt  last  night 
that  you  were  with  us  at  the  Rohrerhiitte  and  on  the  Hameau." 
Her  impatience  had  thus  in  the  dream  anticipated  the  fulfil- 
ment of  the  promise  made  by  her  father. 


Another  dream,  which  the  picturesque  beauty  of  the  Aussee 
inspired  in  my  daughter,  at  that  time  three  and  a  quarter  years 
old,  is  equally  straightforward.  The  little  one  had  crossed 
the  lake  for  the  first  time,  and  the  trip  had  passed  too  quickly 
for  her.  She  did  not  want  to  leave  the  boat  at  the  landing, 
and  cried  bitterly.  The  next  morning  she  told  us  :  "  Last 
night  I  was  sailing  on  the  lake."  Let  us  hope  that  the  dura- 
tion of  this  dream  ride  was  more  satisfactory  to  her. 

My  eldest  boy,  at  that  time  eight  years  of  age,  was  already 
dreaming  of  the  realisation  of  his  fancies.  He  had  been  riding 
in  a  chariot  with  Achilles,  with  Diomed  as  charioteer.  He 
had,  of  course,  on  the  previous  day  shown  a  lively  interest 
in  the  Myths  of  Greece,  which  had  been  given  to  his  elder 

If  it  be  granted  that  the  talking  of  children  in  sleep  likewise 
belongs  to  the  category  of  dreaming,  I  may  report  the  following 
as  one  of  the  most  recent  dreams  in  my  collection.  My  youngest 
girl,  at  that  time  nineteen  months  old,  had  vomited  one  morn- 
ing, and  had  therefore  been  kept  without  food  throughout 
the  day.  During  the  night  which  followed  upon  this  day  of 
hunger,  she  was  heard  to  call  excitedly  in  her  sleep  :  "  Anna 
Feud,  strawberry,  huckleberry,  omelette,  pap  !  "  She  used  her 
name  in  this  way  in  order  to  express  her  idea  of  property  ; 
the  menu  must  have  included  about  everything  which  would 
seem  to  her  a  desirable  meal ;  the  fact  that  berries  appeared 
in  it  twice  was  a  demonstration  against  the  domestic  sanitary 
regulations,  and  was  based  on  the  circumstance,  by  no  means 
overlooked  by  her,  that  the  nurse  ascribed  her  indisposition 
to  an  over-plentiful  consumption  of  strawberries  ;  she  thus 
in  the  dream  took  revenge  for  this  opinion  which  was  distaste- 
ful to  her.* 

If  we  call  childhood  happy  because  it  does  not  yet  know 

sexual  desire,  we  must  not  forget  how  abundant  a  source  of 

disappointment  and  self-denial,  and  thus  of  dream  stimulation, 

*  The  dream  afterwards  accomplished  the  same  purpose  in  the  case  of 
the  grandmother,  who  is  older  than  the  child  by  about  seventy  years,  as  it 
did  in  the  case  of  the  granddaughter.  After  she  had  been  forced  to  go 
hungry  for  several  days  on  account  of  the  restlessness  of  her  floating  kidney, 
she  dreamed,  apparently  with  a  transference  into  the  happy  time  of  her 
flowering  maidenhood,  that  she  had  been  "asked  out,"  invited  as  a  guest  for 
both  the  important  meals,  and  each  time  had  been  served  with  the  most 
delicious  morsels. 

THE   FULFILMENT   OF   A   WISH       111 

the  other  of  the  great  life-impulses  may  become  for  it.*  Here 
is  a  second  example  showing  this.  My  nephew  of  twenty-two 
months  had  been  given  the  task  of  congratulating  me  upon 
my  birthday,  and  of  handing  me,  as  a  present,  a  little  basket  of 
cherries,  which  at  that  time  of  the  year  were  not  yet  in  season. 
It  seemed  difficult  for  him,  for  he  repeated  again  and  again  : 
"  Cherries  in  it,"  and  could  not  be  induced  to  let  the  little 
basket  go  out  of  his  hands.  But  he  knew  how  to  secure  his 
compensation.  He  had,  until  now,  been  in  the  habit  of  telling 
his  mother  every  morning  that  he  had  dreamt  of  the  "  white 
soldier,"  an  officer  of  the  guard  in  a  white  cloak,  whom  he 
had  once  admired  on  the  street.  On  the  day  after  the  birthday, 
he  awakened  joyfully  with  the  information  which  could  have 
had  its  origin  only  in  a  dream  :  "  He(r)man  eat  up  all  the 
cherries  !  "  f 

*  A  more  searching  investigation  into  the  psychic  life  of  the  child 
teaches  us,  to  be  sure,  that  sexual  motive  powers  in  infantile  forms,  which 
have  been  too  long  overlooked,  play  a  sufficiently  great  part  in  the  psychic 
activity  of  the  child.  This  raises  some  doubt  as  to  the  happiness  of  the 
child,  as  imagined  later  by  the  adults.  Of.  the  author's  "  Three  Contribu- 
tions to  the  Sexual  Theory,"  translated  by  A.  A.  Brill,  Journal  of  Nervous 
and  Mental  Diseases  Publishing  Company. 

t  It  should  not  be  left  unmentioned  that  children  sometimes  show  com- 
plex and  more  obscure  dreams,  while,  on  the  other  hand,  adults  will  often 
under  certain  conditions  show  dreams  of  an  infantile  character.  How  rich 
in  unsuspected  material  the  dreams  of  children  of  from  four  to  five  years 
might  be  is  shown  by  examples  in  my  "  Analyse  der  Phobie  eines  fünfjähr- 
igen Knaben"  (Jahrbuch,  ed.  by  Bleuler  &  Freud,  1909),  and  in  Jung's 
"  Ueber  Konflikte  der  kindlichen  Seele  "  (ebda.  ii.  vol.,  1910).  On  the  other 
hand,  it  seems  that  dreams  of  an  infantile  type  reappear  especially  often  in 
adults  if  they  are  transferred  to  unusual  conditions  of  life.  Thus  Otto 
Nordenskjold,  in  his  book  Antarctic  (1904),  writes  as  follows  about  the  crew 
who  passed  the  winter  with  him.  "  Very  characteristic  for  the  trend  of  our 
inmost  thoughts  were  our  dreams,  which  were  never  more  vivid  and 
numerous  than  at  present.  Even  those  of  our  comrades  with  whom  dream- 
ing had  formerly  been  an  exception  had  long  stories  to  tell  in  the  morning 
when  we  exchanged  our  experiences  in  the  world  of  phantasies.  They  all 
referred  to  that  outer  world  which  was  now  so  far  from  us,  but  they  often 
fitted  into  our  present  relations.  An  especially  characteristic  dream  was  the 
one  in  which  one  of  our  comrades  believed  himself  back  on  the  bench  at 
school,  where  the  task  was  assigned  him  of  skinning  miniature  seals  which 
were  especially  made  for  the  purposes  of  instruction.  Eating  and  drinking 
formed  the  central  point  around  which  most  of  our  dreams  were  grouped. 
One  of  us,  who  was  fond  of  going  to  big  dinner  parties  at  night,  was  exceed- 
ingly glad  if  he  could  report  in  the  morning  '  that  he  had  had  a  dinner  con- 
sisting of  three  courses.'  Another  dreamed  of  tobacco — of  whole  mountains 
of  tobacco;  still  another  dreamed  of  a  ship  approaching  on  the  open  sea 
under  full  sail.  Still  another  dream  deserves  to  be  mentioned.  The  letter 
carrier  brought  the  mail,  and  gave  a  long  explanation  of  why  he  had  had  to 
wait  so  long  for  it ;  he  had  delivered  it  at  the  wrong  place,  and  only  after 


What  animals  dream  of  I  do  not  know.  A  proverb  for 
which  I  am  indebted  to  one  of  my  readers  claims  to  know, 
for  it  raises  the  question  :  "  What  does  the  goose  dream  of  ?  " 
the  answer  being  :  "Of  maize  !  "  The  whole  theory  that  the 
dream  is  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish  is  contained  in  these  sentences.* 

We  now  perceive  that  we  should  have  reached  our  theory 
of  the  hidden  meaning  of  the  dream  by  the  shortest  road  if 
we  had  merely  consulted  colloquial  usage.  The  wisdom  of 
proverbs,  it  is  true,  sometimes  speaks  contemptuously  enough 
of  the  dream — it  apparently  tries  to  justify  science  in  expressing 
the  opinion  that  "  Dreams  are  mere  bubbles  ;  "  but  still  for 
colloquial  usage  the  dream  is  the  gracious  fulfiller  of  wishes. 
"  I  should  never  have  fancied  that  in  the  wildest  dream," 
exclaims  one  who  finds  his  expectations  surpassed  in  reality. 

great  effort  had  been  able  to  get  it  back.  To  be  sure,  we  occupied  ourselves 
in  sleep  with  still  more  impossible  things,  but  the  lack  of  phantasy  in 
almost  all  the  dreams  which  I  myself  dreamed"  or  heard  others  relate  was 
quite  striking.  It  would  surely  have  been  of  great  psychological  interest  if 
all  the  dreams  could  have  been  noted.  But  one  can  readily  understand  how 
we  longed  for  sleep.  It  alone  could  afford  us  everything  that  we  all  most 
ardently  desired." 

*  A  Hungarian  proverb  referred  to  by  Ferenczi 87  states  more  explicitly 
that  "  the  pig  dreams  of  acorns,  the  goose  of  maize." 



If  I  make  the  assertion  that  wish  fulfilment  is  the  meaning  of 
every  dream,  that,  accordingly,  there  can  be  no  dreams  except 
wish  dreams,  I  am  sure  at  the  outset  to  meet  with  the  most 
emphatic  contradiction.  Objections  will  be  made  to  this 
effect :  "  The  fact  that  there  are  dreams  which  must  be  under- 
stood as  fulfilments  of  wishes  is  not  new,  but,  on  the  contrary, 
has  long  since  been  recognised  by  the  authors.  Cf.  Radestock  54 
(pp.  137-138),  Volkelt72  (pp.  110-111),  Tissie 68  (p.  70),  M. 
Simon  63  (p.  42)  on  the  hunger  dreams  of  the  imprisoned  Baron 
Trenck),  and  the  passage  in  Griesinger  31  (p.  11).  The  assump- 
tion that  there  can  be  nothing  but  dreams  of  wish  fulfilment, 
however,  is  another  of  those  unjustified  generalisations  by 
which  you  have  been  pleased  to  distinguish  yourself  of  late. 
Indeed  dreams  which  exhibit  the  most  painful  content,  but 
not  a  trace  of  wish  fulfilment,  occur  plentifully  enough.  The 
pessimistic  philosopher,  Edward  von  Hartman,  perhaps 
stands  furthest  from  the  theory  of  wish  fulfilment.  He  ex- 
presses himself  in  his  Philosophy  of  the  Unconscious,  Part  II. 
(stereotyped  edition,  p.  34),  to  the  following  effect : — 

"  '  As  regards  the  dream,  all  the  troubles  of  waking  life  are 
transferred  by  it  to  the  sleeping  state  ;  only  the  one  thing, 
which  can  in  some  measure  reconcile  a  cultured  person  to 
fife-scientific  and  artistic  enjoyment  is  not  transferred.  .  .  .' 
But  even  less  discontented  observers  have  laid  emphasis  on 
the  fact  that  in  dreams  pain  and  disgust  are  more  frequent 
than  pleasure;  so  Scholz59  (p.  39),  Volkelt72  (p.  80),  and 
others.  Indeed  two  ladies,  Sarah  Weed  and  Florence  Hallam,33 
have  found  from  the  elaboration  of  their  dreams  a  mathe- 
matical expression  for  the  preponderance  of  displeasure  in 
dreams.  They  designate  58  per  cent,  of  the  dreams  as  dis- 
agreeable, and  only  28*6  per  cent,  as  positively  pleasant.  Besides 
those  dreams  which   continue  the  painful  sensations  of  life 

113  H 


during  sleep,  there  are  also  dreams  of  fear,  in  which  this  most 
terrible  of  all  disagreeable  sensations  tortures  us  until  we 
awake,  and  it  is  with  just  these  dreams  of  fear  that  children 
are  so  often  persecuted  (Cf.  Debacker  17  concerning  the  Pavor 
Nocturnus),  though  it  is  in  the  case  of  children  that  you  have 
found  dreams  of  wishing  undisguised." 

Indeed  it  is  the  anxiety  dreams  which  seem  to  prevent  a 
generalisation  of  the  thesis  that  the  dream  is  a  wish-fulfilment, 
which  we  have  established  by  means  of  the  examples  in  the 
last  section  ;  they  seem  even  to  brand  this  thesis  as  an  ab- 

It  is  not  difficult,  however,  to  escape  these  apparently 
conclusive  objections.  Please  observe  that  our  doctrine  does 
not  rest  upon  an  acceptance  of  the  manifest  dream  content, 
but  has  reference  to  the  thought  content  which  is  found  to  He 
behind  the  dream  by  the  process  of  interpretation.  Let  us 
contrast  the  manifest  and  the  latent  dream  content.  It  is  true 
that  there  are  dreams  whose  content  is  of  the  most  painful 
nature.  But  has  anyone  ever  tried  to  interpret  these  dreams, 
to  disclose  their  latent  thought  content  ?  If  not,  the  two 
objections  are  no  longer  valid  against  us  ;  there  always  remains 
the  possibility  that  even  painful  and  fearful  dreams  may  be 
discovered  to  be  wish  fulfilments  upon  interpretation.* 

In  scientific  work  it  is  often  advantageous,  when  the  solu- 
tion of  one  problem  presents  difficulties,  to  take  up  a  second 
problem,  just  as  it  is  easier  to  crack  two  nuts  together  instead 
of  separately.  Accordingly  we  are  confronted  not  merely 
with  the  problem  :  How  can  painful  and  fearful  dreams  be 
the  fulfilments  of  wishes  ?  but  we  may  also,  from  our  discussion 
so  far,  raise  the  question  :  Why  do  not  the  dreams  which 
show  an  indifferent  content,  but  turn  out  to  be  wish-fulfilments, 
show  this  meaning  undisguised  ?  Take  the  fully  reported 
dream  of  Irma's  injection  ;  it  is  in  no  way  painful  in  its  nature, 
and  can  be  recognised,  upon  interpretation,  as  a  striking  wish- 
fulfilment.  Why,  in  the  first  place,  is  an  interpretation 
necessary  ?  Why  does  not  the  dream  say  directly  what  it 
means  ?     As  a  matter  of  fact,  even  the  dream  of  Irma's  in- 

*  It  is  quite  incredible  with  what  stubbornness  readers  and  critics 
exclude  this  consideration,  and  leave  unheeded  the  fundamental  differentia- 
tion between  the  manifest  and  the  latent  dream  content. 


jection  does  not  at  first  impress  us  as  representing  a  wish  of 
the  dreamer  as  fulfilled.  The  reader  will  not  have  received 
this  impression,  and  even  I  myself  did  not  know  it  until  I  had 
undertaken  the  analysis.  If  we  call  this  peculiarity  of  the 
dream  of  needing  an  explanation  the  fact  of  the  distortion  of 
dreams,  then  a  second  question  arises  :  What  is  the  origin 
of  this  disfigurement  of  dreams  ? 

If  one's  first  impressions  on  this  subject  were  consulted, 
one  might  happen  upon  several  possible  solutions  ;  for  example, 
that  there  is  an  inability  during  sleep  to  find  an  adequate 
expression  for  the  dream  thoughts.  The  analysis  of  certain 
dreams,  however,  compels  us  to  give  the  disfigurement  of 
dreams  another  explanation.  I  shall  show  this  by  employing 
a  second  dream  of  my  own,  which  again  involves  numerous 
indiscretions,  but  which  compensates  for  this  personal  sacrifice 
by  affording  a  thorough  elucidation  of  the  problem. 

Preliminary  Statement. — In  the  spring  of  1897  I  learnt 
that  two  professors  of  our  university  had  proposed  me  for 
appointment  as  Professor  extraord.  (assistant  professor). 
This  news  reached  me  unexpectedly  and  pleased  me  con- 
siderably as  an  expression  of  appreciation  on  the  part  of  two 
eminent  men  which  could  not  be  explained  by  personal  in- 
terest. But,  I  immediately  thought,  I  must  not  permit  myself 
to  attach  any  expectation  to  this  event.  The  university 
government  had  during  the  last  few  years  left  proposals  of 
this  kind  unconsidered,  and  several  colleagues,  who  were 
ahead  of  me  in  years,  and  who  were  at  least  my  equals  in  merit, 
had  been  waiting  in  vain  during  this  time  for  their  appoint- 
ment. I  had  no  reason  to  suppose  I  should  fare  better.  I 
resolved  then  to  comfort  myself.  I  am  not,  so  far  as  I  know, 
ambitious,  and  I  engage  in  medical  practice  with  satisfying 
results  even  without  the  recommendation  of  a  title.  Moreover, 
it  was  not  a  question  whether  I  considered  the  grapes  sweet  or 
sour,  for  they  undoubtedly  hung  much  too  high  for  me. 

One  evening  I  was  visited  by  a  friend  of  mine,  one  of  those 
colleagues  whose  fate  I  had  taken  as  a  warning  for  myself. 
As  he  had  long  been  a  candidate  for  promotion  to  the  position 
of  professor,  which  in  our  society  raises  the  physician  to  a 
demigod  among  his  patients,  and  as  he  was  less  resigned  than 
I,  he  was  in  the  habit  of  making  representations  from  time  to 


time,  at  the  offices  of  the  university  government,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  advancing  his  interests.  He  came  to  me  from  a  visit 
of  that  kind.  He  said  that  this  time  he  had  driven  the  exalted 
gentleman  into  a  corner,  and  had  asked  him  directly  whether 
considerations  of  creed  were  not  really  responsible  for  the 
deferment  of  his  appointment.  The  answer  had  been  that 
to  be  sure — in  the  present  state  of  public  opinion — His  Ex- 
cellency was  not  in  a  position,  &c.  "  Now  I  at  least  know 
what  I  am  at,"  said  my  friend  in  closing  his  narrative,  which 
told  me  nothing  new,  but  which  was  calculated  to  confirm  me 
in  my  resignation.  For  the  same  considerations  of  creed 
applied  to  my  own  case. 

On  the  morning  after  this  visit,  I  had  the  following  dream, 
which  was  notable  on  account  of  its  form.  It  consisted  of 
two  thoughts  and  two  images,  so  that  a  thought  and  an  image 
alternated.  But  I  here  record  only  the  first  half  of  the  dream, 
because  the  other  half  has  nothing  to  do  with  the  purpose 
which  the  citation  of  the  dream  should  serve. 

I.  Friend  R.  is  my  uncle — I  feel  great  affection  for  him. 

II.  I  see  before  me  his  face  somewhat  altered. 

It  seems  to  be  elongated  ;  a  yellow  beard,  which  surrounds  it, 
is  emphasised  with  peculiar  distinctness. 

Then  follow  the  other  two  portions,  again  a  thought  and 
an  image,  which  I  omit. 

The  interpretation  of  this  dream  was  accomplished  in  the 
following  manner  : 

As  the  dream  occurred  to  me  in  the  course  of  the  forenoon, 
I  laughed  outright  and  said  :  "  The  dream  is  nonsense." 
But  I  could  not  get  it  out  of  my  mind,  and  the  whole  day  it 
pursued  me,  until,  at  last,  in  the  evening  I  reproached  myself 
with  the  words  :  "  If  in  the  course  of  dream  interpretation 
one  of  your  patients  had  nothing  better  to  say  than  '  That  is 
nonsense,'  you  would  reprove  him,  and  would  suspect  that 
behind  the  dream  there  was  hidden  some  disagreeable  affair, 
the  exposure  of  which  he  wanted  to  spare  himself.  Apply 
the  same  thing  in  your  own  case  ;  your  opinion  that  the 
dream  is  nonsense  probably  signifies  merely  an  inner  resistance 
to  its  interpretation.  Do  not  let  yourself  be  deterred."  I 
then  proceeded  to  the  interpretation. 

"  R.  is  my  uncle."     What  does  that  mean.     I  have  had 


only  one  uncle,  my  uncle  Joseph.*  His  story,  to  be  sure,  was 
a  sad  one.  He  had  yielded  to  the  temptation,  more  than 
thirty  years  before,  of  engaging  in  dealings  which  the  law 
punishes  severely,  and  which  on  that  occasion  also  it  had 
visited  with  punishment.  My  father,  who  thereupon  became 
grey  from  grief  in  a  few  days,  always  used  to  say  that  Uncle 
Joseph  was  never  a  wicked  man,  but  that  he  was  indeed  a 
simpleton  ;  so  he  expressed  himself.  If,  then,  friend  R.  is 
my  uncle  Joseph,  that  is  equivalent  to  saying  :  "  R.  is  a 
simpleton."  Hardly  credible  and  very  unpleasant !  But  there 
is  that  face  which  I  see  in  the  dream,  with  its  long  features 
and  its  yellow  beard.  My  uncle  actually  had  such  a  face — 
long  and  surrounded  by  a  handsome  blond  beard.  My  friend 
R.  was  quite  dark,  but  when  dark-haired  persons  begin  to 
grow  grey,  they  pay  for  the  glory  of  their  youthful  years. 
Their  black  beard  undergoes  an  unpleasant  change  of  color, 
each  hair  separately  ;  first  it  becomes  reddish  brown,  then 
yellowish  brown,  and  then  at  last  definitely  grey.  The  beard 
of  my  friend  R.  is  now  in  this  stage,  as  is  my  own  moreover,  a 
fact  which  I  notice  with  regret.  The  face  which  I  see  in  the 
dream  is  at  once  that  of  my  friend  R.  and  that  of  my  uncle. 
It  is  like  a  composite  photograph  of  Galton,  who,  in  order 
to  emphasise  family  resemblances,  had  several  faces,  photo- 
graphed on  the  same  plate.  No  doubt  is  thus  possible,  I 
am  really  of  the  opinion  that  my  friend  R.  is  a  simpleton — 
like  my  uncle  Joseph. 

I  have  still  no  idea  for  what  purpose  I  have  constructed 
this  relationship,  to  which  I  must  unconditionally  object.  But  it 
is  not  a  very  far-reaching  one,  for  my  uncle  was  a  criminal, 
my  friend  R.  is  innocent — perhaps  with  the  exception  of 
having  been  punished  for  knocking  down  an  apprentice  with 
his  bicycle.  Could  I  mean  this  offence  ?  That  would  be 
making  ridiculous  comparisons.  Here  I  recollect  another 
conversation  which  I  had  with  another  colleague,  N.,  and 
indeed  upon  the  same  subject.  I  met  N.  on  the  street.  He 
likewise  has  been  nominated  for  a  professorship,  and  having 

*  It  is  remarkable  how  my  memory  narrows  here  for  the  purposes  of 
analysis — while  I  am  awake.  I  have  known  five  of  my  uncles,  and  have 
loved  and  honoured  one  of  them.  But  at  the  moment  when  I  overcame  my 
resistance  to  the  interpretation  of  the  dream  I  said  to  myself,  "  I  have  only 
one  uncle,  the  one  who  is  intended  in  the  dream." 


heard  of  my  being  honoured,  congratulated  me  upon  it.  I 
declined  emphatically,  saying,  "  You  are  the  last  man  to  make 
a  joke  like  this,  because  you  have  experienced  what  the  nomi- 
nation is  worth  in  your  own  case."  Thereupon  he  said,  though 
probably  not  in  earnest,  "  You  cannot  be  sure  about  that. 
Against  me  there  is  a  very  particular  objection.  Don't  you 
know  that  a  woman  once  entered  a  legal  complaint  against 
me  ?  I  need  not  assure  you  that  an  inquiry  was  made  ;  it 
was  a  mean  attempt  at  blackmail,  and  it  was  all  I  could  do 
to  save  the  plaintiff  herself  from  punishment.  But  perhaps 
the  affair  will  be  pressed  against  me  at  the  office  in  order  that 
I  may  not  be  appointed.  You,  however,  are  above  reproach." 
Here  I  have  come  upon  a  criminal,  and  at  the  same  time  upon 
the  interpretation  and  trend  of  the  dream.  My  uncle  Joseph 
represents  for  me  both  colleagues  who  have  not  been  appointed 
to  the  professorship,  the  one  as  a  simpleton,  the  other  as  a 
criminal.  I  also  know  now  for  what  purpose  I  need  this  re- 
presentation. If  considerations  of  creed  are  a  determining 
factor  in  the  postponement  of  the  appointment  of  my  friends, 
then  my  own  appointment  is  also  put  in  question  :  but  if  I 
can  refer  the  rejection  of  the  two  friends  to  other  causes,  which 
do  not  apply  to  my  case,  my  hope  remains  undisturbed.  This 
is  the  procedure  of  my  dream ;  it  makes  the  one,  R.,  a 
simpleton,  the  other,  N.,  a  criminal ;  since,  however,  I  am 
neither  the  one  nor  the  other,  our  community  of  interest  is 
destroyed,  I  have  a  right  to  enjoy  the  expectation  of  being 
appointed  a  professor,  and  have  escaped  the  painful  applica- 
tion to  my  own  case  of  the  information  which  the  high  official 
has  given  to  R. 

I  must  occupy  myself  still  further  with  the  interpretation 
of  this  dream.  For  my  feelings  it  is  not  yet  sufficiently  cleared 
up.  I  am  still  disquieted  by  the  ease  with  which  I  degrade 
two  respected  colleagues  for  the  purpose  of  clearing  the  way 
to  the  professorship  for  myself.  My  dissatisfaction  with 
my  procedure  has  indeed  diminished  since  I  have  learnt  to 
evaluate  statements  made  in  dreams.  I  would  argue  against 
anyone  who  urged  that  I  really  consider  R.  a  simpleton,  and 
that  I  do  not  credit  N.'s  account  of  the  blackmail  affair.  I 
do  not  believe  either  that  Irma  has  been  made  seriously  ill  by 
an  injection  given  her  by  Otto  with  a  preparation  of  propyl. 


Here,  as  before,  it  is  only  the  wish  that  the  case  may  be  as  the 
dream  expresses  it.  The  statement  in  which  my  wish  is  realised 
sounds  less  absurd  in  the  second  dream  than  in  the  first ;  it  is 
made  here  with  a  more  skilful  utilisation  of  facts  as  points  of 
attachment,  something  like  a  well-constructed  slander,  where 
"  there  is  something  in  it."  For  my  friend  R.  had  at  that 
time  the  vote  of  a  professor  from  the  department  against  him, 
and  my  friend  N.  had  himself  unsuspectingly  furnished  me 
with  the  material  for  slander.  Nevertheless,  I  repeat,  the 
dream  seems  to  me  to  require  further  elucidation. 

I  remember  now  that  the  dream  contains  still  another 
portion  which  so  far  our  interpretation  has  not  taken  into 
account.  After  it  occurs  to  me  that  my  friend  R.  is  my  uncle, 
I  feel  great  affection  for  him.  To  whom  does  this  feeling 
belong  ?  For  my  uncle  Joseph,  of  course,  I  have  never  had 
any  feelings  of  affection.  For  years  my  friend  R.  has  been 
beloved  and  dear  to  me  ;  but  if  I  were  to  go  to  him  and  ex- 
press my  feelings  for  him  in  terms  which  came  anywhere  near 
corresponding  to  the  degree  of  affection  in  the  dream,  he 
would  doubtless  be  surprised.  My  affection  for  him  seems 
untrue  and  exaggerated,  something  like  my  opinion  of  his 
psychic  qualities,  which  I  express  by  fusing  his  personality 
with  that  of  my  uncle  ;  but  it  is  exaggerated  in  an  opposite 
sense.  But  now  a  new  state  of  affairs  becomes  evident  to  me. 
The  affection  in  the  dream  does  not  belong  to  the  hidden 
content,  to  the  thoughts  behind  the  dream ;  it  stands  in 
opposition  to  this  content ;  it  is  calculated  to  hide  the  informa- 
tion which  interpretation  may  bring.  Probably  this  is  its 
very  purpose.  I  recall  with  what  resistance  I  applied  myself 
to  the  work  of  interpretation,  how  long  I  tried  to  postpone  it, 
and  how  I  declared  the  dream  to  be  sheer  nonsense.  I  know 
from  my  psychoanalytical  treatments  how  such  condemna- 
tion is  to  be  interpreted.  It  has  no  value  as  affording  in- 
formation, but  only  as  the  registration  of  an  affect.  If  my 
little  daughter  does  not  like  an  apple  which  is  offered  her,  she 
asserts  that  the  apple  has  a  bitter  taste,  without  even  having 
tasted  it.  If  my  patients  act  like  the  little  girl,  I  know  that 
it  is  a  question  of  a  notion  which  they  want  to  suppress.  The 
same  applies  to  my  dream.  I  do  not  want  to  interpret  it 
because  it  contains  something  to  which  I  object.     After  the 


interpretation  of  the  dream  has  been  completed,  I  find  out 
what  it  was  I  objected  to  ;  it  was  the  assertion  that  R.  is  a 
simpleton.  I  may  refer  the  affection  which  I  feel  for  R.  not 
to  the  hidden  dream  thoughts,  but  rather  to  this  unwillingness 
of  mine.  If  my  dream  as  compared  with  its  hidden  content 
is  disfigured  at  this  point,  and  is  disfigured,  moreover,  into 
something  opposite,  then  the  apparent  affection  in  the  dream 
serves  the  purpose  of  disfigurement ;  or,  in  other  words,  the 
disfigurement  is  here  shown  to  be  intended  :  it  is  a  means  of 
dissimulation.  My  dream  thoughts  contain  an  unfavourable 
reference  to  R.  ;  in  order  that  I  may  not  become  aware  of  it, 
its  opposite,  a  feeling  of  affection  for  him,  makes  its  way  into 
the  dream. 

The  fact  here  recognised  might  be  of  universal  applica- 
bility. As  the  examples  in  Section  III.  have  shown,  there  are 
dreams  which  are  undisguised  wish-fulfilments.  Wherever 
a  wish-fulfilment  is  unrecognisable  and  concealed,  there  must 
be  present  a  feeling  of  repulsion  towards  this  wish,  and  in 
consequence  of  this  repulsion  the  wish  is  unable  to  gain  ex- 
pression except  in  a  disfigured  state.  I  shall  try  to  find  a  case 
in  social  life  which  is  parallel  to  this  occurrence  in  the  inner 
psychic  life.  Where  in  social  life  can  a  similar  disfigurement 
of  a  psychic  act  be  found  ?  Only  where  two  persons  are  in 
question,  one  of  whom  possesses  a  certain  power,  while  the 
other  must  have  a  certain  consideration  for  this  power.  This 
second  person  will  then  disfigure  his  psychic  actions,  or,  as 
we  may  say,  he  will  dissimulate.  The  politeness  which  I 
practise  every  day  is  largely  dissimulation  of  this  kind.  If  I 
interpret  my  dreams  for  the  benefit  of  the  reader  I  am  forced 
to  make  such  distortions.  The  poet  also  complains  about  such 
disfigurement  : 

"  You  may  not  tell  the  best  that  you  know  to  the  youngsters." 

The  political  writer  who  has  unpleasant  truths  to  tell  to 
the  government  finds  himself  in  the  same  position.  If  he 
tells  them  without  reserve,  the  government  will  suppress 
them — subsequently  in  case  of  a  verbal  expression  of  opinion, 
preventatively,  if  they  are  to  be  published  in  print.  The 
writer  must  fear  censure ;  he  therefore  modifies  and  disfigures 
the  expression  of  his  opinion.     He  finds  himself  compelled, 


according  to  the  sensitiveness  of .  this  censure,  either  to  re- 
strain himself  from  certain  particular  forms  of  attack  or  to 
speak  in  allusion  instead  of  direct  designations.  Or  he  must 
disguise  his  objectionable  statement  in  a  garb  that  seems 
harmless.  He  may,  for  instance,  tell  of  an  occurrence  between 
two  mandarins  in  the  Orient,  while  he  has  the  officials  of  his 
own  country  in  view.  The  stricter  the  domination  of  the 
censor,  the  more  extensive  becomes  the  disguise,  and  often 
the  more  humorous  the  means  employed  to  put  the  reader 
back  on  the  track  of  the  real  meaning. 

The  correspondence  between  the  phenomena  of  the  censor 
and  those  of  dream  distortion,  which  may  be  traced  in  detail, 
justifies  us  in  assuming  similar  conditions  for  both.  We 
should  then  assume  in  each  human  being,  as  the  primary 
cause  of  dream  formation,  two  psychic  forces  (streams,  systems), 
of  which  one  constitutes  the  wish  expressed  by  the  dream, 
while  the  other  acts  as  a  censor  upon  this  dream  wish,  and  by 
means  of  this  censoring  forces  a  distortion  of  its  expression. 
The  only  question  is  as  to  the  basis  of  the  authority  of  this 
second  instance  *  by  virtue  of  which  it  may  exercise  its  censor- 
ship. If  we  remember  that  the  hidden  dream  thoughts  are 
not  conscious  before  analysis,  but  that  the  apparent  dream 
content  is  remembered  as  conscious,  we  easily  reach  the 
assumption  that  admittance  to  consciousness  is  the  privilege 
of  the  second  instance.  Nothing  can  reach  consciousness 
from  the  first  system  which  has  not  first  passed  the  second 
instance,  and  the  second  instance  lets  nothing  pass  without 
exercising  its  rights  and  forcing  such  alterations  upon  the 
candidate  for  admission  to  consciousness  as  are  pleasant  to 
itself.  We  are  here  forming  a  very  definite  conception  of  the 
"  essence  "  of  consciousness  ;  for  us  the  state  of  becoming 
conscious  is  a  particular  psychic  act,  different  from  and 
independent  of  becoming  fixed  or  of  being  conceived,  and 
consciousness  appears  to  us  as  an  organ  of  sense,  which  per- 
ceives a  content  presented  from  another  source.  It  may  be 
shown  that  psychopathology  cannot  possibly  dispense  with 
these  fundamental  assumptions.  We  may  reserve  a  more 
thorough  examination  of  these  for  a  later  time. 

*  The  word  is  here  used  in  the  original  Latin  sense  instantia,  meaning 
energy,  continuance  or  persistence  in  doing.     (Translator.) 


If  I  keep  in  mind  the  idea  of  the  two  psychic  instances  and 
their  relations  to  consciousness,  I  find  in  the  sphere  of  politics 
a  very  exact  analogy  for  the  extraordinary  affection  which  I 
feel  for  my  friend  R.,  who  suffers  such  degradation  in  the 
course  of  the  dream  interpretation.  I  turn  my  attention  to 
a  political  state  in  which  a  ruler,  jealous  of  his  rights,  and  a 
live  public  opinion  are  in  conflict  with  each  other.  The  people 
are  indignant  against  an  official  whom  they  hate,  and  demand 
his  dismissal ;  and  in  order  not  to  show  that  he  is  compelled 
to  respect  the  public  wish,  the  autocrat  will  expressly  confer 
upon  the  official  some  great  honour,  for  which  there  would 
otherwise  have  been  no  occasion.  Thus  the  second  instance 
referred  to,  which  controls  access  to  consciousness,  honours 
my  friend  R.  with  a  profusion  of  extraordinary  tenderness, 
because  the  wish  activities  of  the  first  system,  in  accordance 
with  a  particular  interest  which  they  happen  to  be  pursuing, 
are  inclined  to  put  him  down  as  a  simpleton.* 

Perhaps  we  shall  now  begin  to  suspect  that  dream  inter- 
pretation is  capable  of  giving  us  hints  about  the  structure 
of  our  psychic  apparatus  which  we  have  thus  far  expected  in 
vain  from  philosophy.  We  shall  not,  however,  follow  this 
track,  but  return  to  our  original  problem  as  soon  as  we  have 
cleared  up  the  subject  of  dream-disfigurement.  The  question 
has  arisen  how  dreams  with  disagreeable  content  can  be 
analysed  as  the  fulfilments  of  wishes.  We  see  now  that  this 
is  possible  in  case  dream-disfigurement  has  taken  place,  in 
case  the  disagreeable  content  serves  only  as  a  disguise  for 
what  is  wished.  Keeping  in  mind  our  assumptions  in  regard 
to  the  two  psychic  instances,  we  may  now  proceed  to  say  : 
disagreeable  dreams,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  contain  something 

*  Such  hypocritical  dreams  are  not  unusual  occurrences  with  me  or 
with  others.  While  I  am  working  up  a  certain  scientific  problem,  I  am 
visited  for  many  nights  in  rapid  succession  by  a  somewhat  confusing  dream 
which  has  as  its  content  reconciliation  with  a  friend  long  ago  dropped.  After 
three  or  four  attempts,  I  finally  succeeded  in  grasping  the  meaning  of  this 
dream.  It  was  in  the  nature  of  an  encouragement  to  ^ive  up  the  little  con- 
sideration still  left  for  the  person  in  question,  to  drop  him  completely,  but  it 
disguised  itself  shamefacedly  in  the  opposite  feeling.  I  have  reported  a 
"hypocritical  oedipus  dream"  of  a  person,  in  which  the  hostile  feelings  and 
the  wishes  of  death  of  the  dream  thoughts  were  replaced  by  manifest  tender- 
ness. ("  Typisches  Beispiel  eines  verkappten  Oedipustraumes,"  Zentralblatt 
für  Psychoanalyse,  Bd.  1,  Heft  1-11,  1910.)  Another  class  of  hypocritical 
dreams  will  be  reported  in  another  place. 


which  is  disagreeable  to  the  second  instance,  but  which  at 
the  same  time  fulfils  a  wish  of  the  first  instance.  They  are 
wish  dreams  in  the  sense  that  every  dream  originates  in  the 
first  instance,  while  the  second  instance  acts  towards  the 
dream  only  in  a  repelling,  not  in  a  creative  manner.  If  we 
limit  ourselves  to  a  consideration  of  what  the  second  instance 
contributes  to  the  dream,  we  can  never  understand  the  dream. 
If  we  do  so,  all  the  riddles  which  the  authors  have  found  in  the 
dream  remain  unsolved. 

That  the  dream  actually  has  a  secret  meaning,  which  turns 
out  to  be  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish,  must  be  proved  afresh  for 
every  case  by  means  of  an  analysis.  I  therefore  select  several 
dreams  which  have  painful  contents  and  attempt  an  analysis 
of  them.  They  are  partly  dreams  of  hysterical  subjects, 
which  require  long  preliminary  statements,  and  now  and  then 
also  an  examination  of  the  psychic  processes  which  occur  in 
hysteria.  I  cannot,  however,  avoid  this  added  difficulty  in 
the  exposition. 

When  I  give  a  psychoneurotic  patient  analytical  treatment, 
dreams  are  always,  as  I  have  said,  the  subject  of  our  dis- 
cussion. It  must,  therefore,  give  him  all  the  psychological 
explanations  through  whose  aid  I  myself  have  come  to  an 
understanding  of  his  symptoms,  and  here  I  undergo  an  un- 
sparing criticism,  which  is  perhaps  not  less  keen  than  that  I 
must  expect  from  my  colleagues.  Contradiction  of  the  thesis 
that  all  dreams  are  the  fulfilments  of  wishes  is  raised  by  my 
patients  with  perfect  regularity.  Here  are  several  examples  of 
the  dream  material  which  is  offered  me  to  refute  this  position. 

"  You  always  tell  me  that  the  dream  is  a  wish  fulfilled," 
begins  a  clever  lady  patient.  "  Now  I  shall  tell  you  a  dream 
in  which  the  content  is  quite  the  opposite,  in  which  a  wish  of 
mine  is  not  fulfilled.  How  do  you  reconcile  that  with  your 
theory  ?     The  dream  is  as  follows  : — 

"  /  want  to  give  a  supper,  but  having  nothing  at  hand  except 
some  smoked  salmon,  I  think  of  going  marketing,  but  I  remember 
that  it  is  Sunday  afternoon,  when  all  the  shops  are  closed.  I 
next  try  to  telephone  to  some  caterers,  but  the  telephone  is  out  of 
order.     Thus  I  must  resign  my  wish  to  give  a  supper." 

I  answer,  of  course,  that  only  the  analysis  can  decide  the 
meaning  of  this  dream,  although  I  admit  that  at  first  sight 


it  seems  sensible  and  coherent,  and  looks  like  the  opposite  of 
a  wish-fulfilment.  "  But  what  occurrence  has  given  rise  to 
this  dream  ?  "  I  ask.  "  You  know  that  the  stimulus  for  a 
dream  always  lies  among  the  experiences  of  the  preceding 

Analysis. — The  husband  of  the  patient,  an  upright  and 
conscientious  wholesale  butcher,  had  told  her  the  day  before 
that  he  is  growing  too  fat,  and  that  he  must,  therefore,  begin 
treatment  for  obesity.  He  was  going  to  get  up  early,  take 
exercise,  keep  to  a  strict  diet,  and  above  all  accept  no  more 
invitations  to  suppers.  She  proceeds  laughingly  to  relate 
how  her  husband  at  an  inn  table  had  made  the  acquaintance 
of  an  artist,  who  insisted  upon  painting  his  portrait  because 
he,  the  painter,  had  never  found  such  an  expressive  head. 
But  her  husband  had  answered  in  his  rough  way,  that  he  was 
very  thankful  for  the  honour,  but  that  he  was  quite  convinced 
that  a  portion  of  the  backside  of  a  pretty  young  girl  would 
please  the  artist  better  than  his  whole  face.*  She  said  that 
she  was  at  the  time  very  much  in  love  with  her  husband,  and 
teased  him  a  good  deal.  She  had  also  asked  him  not  to  send 
her  any  caviare.     What  does  that  mean  ? 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  she  had  wanted  for  a  long  time  to  eat 
a  caviare  sandwich  every  forenoon,  but  had  grudged  herself 
the  expense.  Of  course,  she  would  at  once  get  the  caviare 
from  her  husband,  as  soon  as  she  asked  him  for  it.  But  she 
had  begged  him,  on  the  contrary,  not  to  send  her  the  caviare, 
in  order  that  she  might  tease  him  about  it  longer. 

This  explanation  seems  far-fetched  to  me.  Unadmitted 
motives  are  in  the  habit  of  hiding  behind  such  unsatisfactory 
explanations.  We  are  reminded  of  subjects  hypnotised  by 
Bernheim,  who  carried  out  a  posthypnotic  order,  and  who,  upon 
being  asked  for  their  motives,  instead  of  answering  :  "I  do 
not  know  why  I  did  that,"  had  to  invent  a  reason  that  was 
obviously  inadequate.  Something  similar  is  probably  the 
case  with  the  caviare  of  my  patient.  I  see  that  she  is  com- 
pelled to  create  an  unfulfilled  wish  in  life.  Her  dream  also 
shows  the  reproduction  of  the  wish  as  accomplished.  But  why 
does  she  need  an  unfulfilled  wish  ? 

*  To  sit  for  the  painter.  Goethe  :  "  And  if  he  has  no  backside,  how  can 
the  nobleman  sit  ? " 


The  ideas  so  far  produced  are  insufficient  for  the  inter- 
pretation of  the  dream.  I  beg  for  more.  After  a  short  pause, 
which  corresponds  to  the  overcoming  of  a  resistance,  she 
reports  further  that  the  day  before  she  had  made  a  visit  to  a 
friend,  of  whom  she  is  really  jealous,  because  her  husband  is 
always  praising  this  woman  so  much.  Fortunately,  this 
friend  is  very  lean  and  thin,  and  her  husband  likes  well-rounded 
figures.  Now  of  what  did  this  lean  friend  speak  ?  Naturally 
of  her  wish  to  become  somewhat  stouter.  She  also  asked  my 
patient :  "  When  are  you  going  to  invite  us  again  ?  You 
always  have  such  a  good  table." 

Now  the  meaning  of  the  dream  is  clear.  I  may  say  to  the 
patient  :  "  It  is  just  as  though  you  had  thought  at  the  time 
of  the  request :  '  Of  course,  I'll  invite  you,  so  you  can  eat 
yourself  fat  at  my  house  and  become  still  more  pleasing  to 
my  husband.  I  would  rather  give  no  more  suppers.'  The 
dream  then  tells  you  that  you  cannot  give  a  supper,  thereby 
fulfilling  your  wish  not  to  contribute  anything  to  the  rounding 
out  of  your  friend's  figure.  The  resolution  of  your  husband 
to  refuse  invitations  to  supper  for  the  sake  of  getting  thin 
teaches  you  that  one  grows  fat  on  the  things  served  in  com- 
pany." Now  only  some  conversation  is  necessary  to  confirm 
the  solution.  The  smoked  salmon  in  the  dream  has  not  yet 
been  traced.  "  How  did  the  salmon  mentioned  in  the  dream 
occur  to  you  ?  "  "  Smoked  salmon  is  the  favourite  dish  of 
this  friend,"  she  answered.  I  happen  to  know  the  lady,  and 
may  corroborate  this  by  saying  that  she  grudges  herself  the 
salmon  just  as  much  as  my  patient  grudges  herself  the  caviare. 

The  dream  admits  of  still  another  and  more  exact  inter- 
pretation, which  is  necessitated  only  by  a  subordinate  circum- 
stance. The  two  interpretations  do  not  contradict  one 
another,  but  rather  cover  each  other  and  furnish  a  neat 
example  of  the  usual  ambiguity  of  dreams  as  well  as  of  all 
other  psychopathological  formations.  We  have  seen  that  at 
the  same  time  that  she  dreams  of  the  denial  of  the  wish,  the 
patient  is  in  reality  occupied  in  securing  an  unfulfilled  wish 
(the  caviare  sandwiches).  Her  friend,  too,  had  expressed  a 
wish,  namely,  to  get  fatter,  and  it  would  not  surprise  us  if 
our  lady  had  dreamt  that  the  wish  of  the  friend  was  not  being 
fulfilled.     For  it  is  her  own  wish  that  a  wish  of  her  friend's — 


for  increase  in  weight — should  not  be  fulfilled.  Instead  of 
this,  however,  she  dreams  that  one  of  her  own  wishes  is  not 
fulfilled.  The  dream  becomes  capable  of  a  new  interpretation, 
if  in  the  dream  she  does  not  intend  herself,  but  her  friend,  if 
she  has  put  herself  in  the  place  of  her  friend,  or,  as  we  may 
say,  has  identified  herself  with  her  friend. 

I  think  she  has  actually  done  this,  and  as  a  sign  of  this 
identification  she  has  created  an  unfulfilled  wish  in  reality. 
But  what  is  the  meaning  of  this  hysterical  identification  ? 
To  clear  this  up  a  thorough  exposition  is  necessary.  Identi- 
fication is  a  highly  important  factor  in  the  mechanism  of 
hysterical  symptoms ;  by  this  means  patients  are  enabled 
in  their  symptoms  to  represent  not  merely  their  own  experi- 
ences, but  the  experiences  of  a  great  number  of  other  persons, 
and  can  suffer,  as  it  were,  for  a  whole  mass  of  people,  and  fill 
all  the  parts  of  a  drama  by  means  of  their  own  personalities 
alone.  It  will  here  be  objected  that  this  is  well-known 
hysterical  imitation,  the  ability  of  hysteric  subjects  to  copy  all 
the  symptoms  which  impress  them  when  they  occur  in  others, 
as  though  their  pity  were  stimulated  to  the  point  of  repro- 
duction. But  this  only  indicates  the  way  in  which  the  psychic 
process  is  discharged  in  hysterical  imitation  ;  the  way  in  which 
a  psychic  act  proceeds  and  the  act  itself  are  two  different 
things.  The  latter  is  slightly  more  complicated  than  one  is 
apt  to  imagine  the  imitation  of  hysterical  subjects  to  be  :  it 
corresponds  to  an  unconscious  concluded  process,  as  an 
example  will  show.  The  physician  who  has  a  female  patient 
with  a  particular  kind  of  twitching,  lodged  in  the  company  of 
other  patients  in  the  same  room  of  the  hospital,  is  not  surprised 
when  some  morning  he  learns  that  this  peculiar  hysterical  attack 
has  found  imitations.  He  simply  says  to  himself  :  The  others 
have  seen  her  and  have  done  likewise  :  that  is  psychic  infection. 
Yes,  but  psychic  infection  proceeds  in  somewhat  the  following 
manner  :  As  a  rule,  patients  know  more  about  one  another 
than  the  physician  knows  about  each  of  them,  and  they  are 
concerned  about  each  other  when  the  visit  of  the  doctor  is 
over.  Some  of  them  have  an  attack  to-day  :  soon  it  is  known 
among  the  rest  that  a  letter  from  home,  a  return  of  love- 
sickness  or  the  like,  is  the  cause  of  it.  Their  sympathy  is  aroused, 
and  the  following  syllogism,  which  does  not  reach  conscious- 


ness,  is  completed  in  them  :  "  If  it  is  possible  to  have  this  kind 
of  an  attack  from  such  causes,  I  too  may  have  this  kind  of  an 
attack,  for  I  have  the  same  reasons."  If  this  were  a  cycle 
capable  of  becoming  conscious,  it  would  perhaps  express 
itself  in  fear  of  getting  the  same  attack  ;  but  it  takes  place 
in  another  psychic  sphere,  and,  therefore,  ends  in  the  realisa- 
tion of  the  dreaded  symptom.  Identification  is  therefore 
not  a  simple  imitation,  but  a  sympathy  based  upon  the  same 
etiological  claim  ;  it  expresses  an  "  as  though,"  and  refers  to 
some  common  quality  which  has  remained  in  the  unconscious. 

Identification  is  most  often  used  in  hysteria  to  express 
sexual  community.  An  hysterical  woman  identifies  herself 
most  readily — although  not  exclusively — with  persons  with 
whom  she  has  had  sexual  relations,  or  who  have  sexual  inter- 
course with  the  same  persons  as  herself.  Language  takes 
such  a  conception  into  consideration  :  two  lovers  are  "one." 
In  the  hysterical  phantasy,  as  well  as  in  the  dream,  it  is  suffi- 
cient for  the  identification  if  one  thinks  of  sexual  relations, 
whether  or  not  they  become  real.  The  patient,  then,  only 
follows  the  rules  of  the  hysterical  thought  processes  when  she 
gives  expression  to  her  jealousy  of  her  friend  (which,  moreover, 
she  herself  admits  to  be  unjustified,  in  that  she  puts  herself  in 
her  place  and  identifies  herself  with  her  by  creating  a  symptom 
— the  denied  wish).  I  might  further  clarify  the  process  speci- 
fically as  follows  :  She  puts  herself  in  the  place  of  her  friend 
in  the  dream,  because  her  friend  has  taken  her  own  place  in 
relation  to  her  husband,  and  because  she  would  like  to  take 
her  friend's  place  in  the  esteem  of  her  husband.* 

The  contradiction  to  my  theory  of  dreams  in  the  case  of 
another  female  patient,  the  most  witty  among  all  my  dreamers, 
was  solved  in  a  simpler  manner,  although  according  to  the 
scheme  that  the  non-fulfilment  of  one  wish  signifies  the  fulfil- 
ment of  another.  I  had  one  day  explained  to  her  that  the 
dream  is  a  wish-fulfilment.  The  next  day  she  brought  me  a 
dream  to  the  effect  that  she  was  travelling  with  her  mother-in- 

*  I  myself  regret  the  introduction  of  such  passages  from  the  psycho- 
pathology  of  hysteria,  which,  because  of  their  fragmentary  representation 
and  of  being  torn  from  all  connection  with  the  subject,  cannot  have  a  very 
enlightening  influence.  If  these  passages  are  capable  of  throwing  light  upon 
the  intimate  relations  between  the  dream  and  the  psychoneuroses,  they  have 
served  the  purpose  for  which  I  have  taken  them  up. 


law  to  their  common  summer  resort.  Now  I  knew  that  she 
had  struggled  violently  against  spending  the  summer  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  her  mother-in-law.  I  also  knew  that  she  had 
luckily  avoided  her  mother-in-law  by  renting  an  estate  in  a 
far-distant  country  resort.  Now  the  dream  reversed  this 
wished-for  solution  ;  was  not  this  in  the  flattest  contradiction 
to  my  theory  of  wish -fulfilment  in  the  dream  ?  Certainly,  it 
was  only  necessary  to  draw  the  inferences  from  this  dream  in 
order  to  get  at  its  interpretation.  According  to  this  dream,  I 
was  in  the  wrong.  It  was  thus  her  wish  that  I  should  be  in  the 
wrong,  and  this  wish  the  dream  showed  her  as  fulfilled.  But  the 
wish  that  I  should  be  in  the  wrong,  which  was  fulfilled  in  the 
theme  of  the  country  home,  referred  to  a  more  serious  matter. 
At  that  time  I  had  made  up  my  mind,  from  the  material 
furnished  by  her  analysis,  that  something  of  significance  for  her 
illness  must  have  occurred  at  a  certain  time  in  her  life.  She 
had  denied  it  because  it  was  not  present  in  her  memory.  We 
soon  came  to  see  that  I  was  in  the  right.  Her  wish  that  I 
should  be  in  the  wrong,  which  is  transformed  into  the  dream,  thus 
corresponded  to  the  justifiable  wish  that  those  things,  which  at 
the  time  had  only  been  suspected,  had  never  occurred  at  all. 

Without  an  analysis,  and  merely  by  means  of  an  assumption, 
I  took  the  liberty  of  interpreting  a  little  occurrence  in  the  case 
of  a  friend,  who  had  been  my  colleague  through  the  eight 
classes  of  the  Gymnasium.  He  once  heard  a  lecture  of  mine 
delivered  to  a  small  assemblage,  on  the  novel  subject  of  the 
dream  as  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish.  He  went  home,  dreamt 
that  he  had  lost  all  his  suits — he  was  a  lawyer — and  then  com- 
plained to  me  about  it.  I  took  refuge  in  the  evasion  :  "  One 
can't  win  all  one's  suits,"  but  I  thought  to  myself  :  "  If  for 
eight  years  I  sat  as  Primus  on  the  first  bench,  while  he  moved 
around  somewhere  in  the  middle  of  the  class,  may  he  not 
naturally  have  had  a  wish  from  his  boyhood  days  that  I,  too, 
might  for  once  completely  disgrace  myself  ?  " 

In  the  same  way  another  dream  of  a  more  gloomy  character 
was  offered  me  by  a  female  patient  as  a  contradiction  to  my 
theory  of  the  wish-dream.  The  patient,  a  young  girl,  began 
as  follows  :  "  You  remember  that  my  sister  has  now  only  one 
boy,  Charles  :  she  lost  the  elder  one,  Otto,  while  I  was  still  at 
her  house.     Otto   was   my  favourite ;    it   was   I   who   really 


brought  him  up.  I  like  the  other  little  fellow,  too,  but  of 
course  not  nearly  as  much  as  the  dead  one.  Now  I  dreamt 
last  night  that  /  saw  Charles  lying  dead  before  me.  He  was 
lying  in  his  little  coffin,  his  hands  folded :  there  were  candles 
all  about,  and,  in  short,  it  was  just  like  the  time  of  little  Otto's 
death,  which  shocked  me  so  profoundly.  Now  tell  me,  what 
does  this  mean  ?  You  know  me  :  am  I  really  bad  enough  to 
wish  my  sister  to  lose  the  only  child  she  has  left  ?  Or  does  the 
dream  mean  that  I  wish  Charles  to  be  dead  rather  than  Otto, 
whom  I  like  so  much  better  ?  " 

I  assured  her  that  this  interpretation  was  impossible. 
After  some  reflection  I  was  able  to  give  her  the  interpretation 
of  the  dream,  which  I  subsequently  made  her  confirm. 

Having  become  an  orphan  at  an  early  age,  the  girl  had 
been  brought  up  in  the  house  of  a  much  older  sister,  and  had 
met  among  the  friends  and  visitors  who  came  to  the  house,  a 
man  who  made  a  lasting  impression  upon  her  heart.  It 
looked  for  a  time  as  though  these  barely  expressed  relations 
were  to  end  in  marriage,  but  this  happy  culmination  was 
frustrated  by  the  sister,  whose  motives  have  never  found  a 
complete  explanation.  After  the  break,  the  man  who  was 
loved  by  our  patient  avoided  the  house  :  she  herself  became 
independent  some  time  after  little  Otto's  death,  to  whom  her 
affection  had  now  turned.  But  she  did  not  succeed  in  freeing 
herself  from  the  inclination  for  her  sister's  friend  in  which 
she  had  become  involved.  Her  pride  commanded  her  to 
avoid  him  ;  but  it  was  impossible  for  her  to  transfer  her  love 
to  the  other  suitors  who  presented  themselves  in  order. 
Whenever  the  man  whom  she  loved,  who  was  a  member  of 
the  literary  profession,  announced  a  lecture  anywhere,  she 
was  sure  to  be  found  in  the  audience  ;  she  also  seized  every 
other  opportunity  to  see  him  from  a  distance  unobserved  by 
him.  I  remembered  that  on  the  day  before  she  had  told  me 
that  the  Professor  was  going  to  a  certain  concert,  and  that 
she  was  also  going  there,  in  order  to  enjoy  the  sight  of  him. 
This  was  on  the  day  of  the  dream  ;  and  the  concert  was  to 
take  place  on  the  day  on  which  she  told  me  the  dream.  I 
could  now  easily  see  the  correct  interpretation,  and  I  asked 
her  whether  she  could  think  of  any  event  which  had  happened 
after  the  death  of   little  Otto.     She  answered  immediately  : 


"  Certainly ;  at  that  time  the  Professor  returned  after  a  long 
absence,  and  I  saw  him  once  more  beside  the  coffin  of  little 
Otto."  It  was  exactly  as  I  had  expected.  I  interpreted 
the  dream  in  the  following  manner  :  If  now  the  other  boy 
were  to  die,  the  same  thing  would  be  repeated.  You  would 
spend  the  day  with  your  sister,  the  Professor  would  surely 
come  in  order  to  offer  condolence,  and  you  would  see  him  again 
under  the  same  circumstances  as  at  that  time.  The  dream 
signifies  nothing  but  this  wish  of  yours  to  see  him  again, 
against  which  you  are  fighting  inwardly.  I  know  that  you 
are  carrying  the  ticket  for  to-day's  concert  in  your  bag.  Your 
dream  is  a  dream  of  impatience ;  it  has  anticipated  the 
meeting  which  is  to  take  place  to-day  by  several  hours." 

In  order  to  disguise  her  wish  she  had  obviously  selected  a 
situation  in  which  wishes  of  that  sort  are  commonly  sup- 
pressed— a  situation  which  is  so  filled  with  sorrow  that  love  is 
not  thought  of.  And  yet,  it  is  very  easily  probable  that  even 
in  the  actual  situation  at  the  bier  of  the  second,  more  dearly 
loved  boy,  which  the  dream  copied  faithfully,  she  had  not 
been  able  to  suppress  her  feelings  of  affection  for  the  visitor 
whom  she  had  missed  for  so  long  a  time. 

A  different  explanation  was  found  in  the  case  of  a  similar 
dream  of  another  female  patient,  who  was  distinguished  in  her 
earlier  years  by  her  quick  wit  and  her  cheerful  demeanour, 
and  who  still  showed  these  qualities  at  least  in  the  notions 
which  occurred  to  her  in  the  course  of  treatment.  In  con- 
nection with  a  longer  dream,  it  seemed  to  this  lady  that  she 
saw  her  fifteen-year-old  daughter  lying  dead  before  her  in  a 
box.  She  was  strongly  inclined  to  convert  this  dream-image 
into  an  objection  to  the  theory  of  wish-fulfilment,  but  herself 
suspected  that  the  detail  of  the  box  must  lead  to  a  different 
conception  of  the  dream.*  In  the  course  of  the  analysis  it 
occurred  to  her  that  on  the  evening  before,  the  conversation 
of  the  company  had  turned  upon  the  English  word  "  box," 
and  upon  the  numerous  translations  of  it  into  German,  such 
as  box,  theatre  box,  chest,  box  on  the  ear,  &c.  From  other 
components  of  the  same  dream  it  is  now  possible  to  add  that 
the  lady  had  guessed  the  relationship  between  the  English 
word  "  box  "  and  the  German  Büchse,  and  had  then  been 
*  Something  like  the  smoked  salmon  in  the  dream  of  the  deferred  supper. 


haunted   by  the  memory  that  Büchse  (as  well   as  "  box  ")  is 

used  in  vulgar  speech  to  designate  the  female  genital  organ. 

It  was  therefore  possible,  making  a  certain  allowance  for  her 

notions  on  the  subject  of  topographical  anatomy,  to  assume 

that  the  child  in  the  box  signified  a  child  in  the  womb  of  the 

mother.     At  this  stage  of  the  explanation  she  no  longer  denied 

that  the  picture  of  the  dream  really  corresponded  to  one  of 

her  wishes.     Like  so  many  other  young  women,  she  was  by 

no  means  happy  when  she  became  pregnant,  and  admitted  to 

me  more  than  once  the  wish  that  her  child  might  die  before  its 

birth  ;    in  a  fit  of  anger  following  a  violent  scene  with  her 

husband  she  had  even  struck  her  abdomen  with  her  fists  in 

order  to  hit  the  child  within.     The  dead  child  was,  therefore, 

really  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish,  but  a  wish  which  had  been 

put  aside  for  fifteen  years,  and  it  is  not  surprising  that  the 

fulfilment  of  the  wish  was  no  longer  recognised  after  so  long 

an  interval.     For  there  had  been  many  changes  meanwhile. 

The  group  of  dreams  to   which  the  two  last  mentioned 

belong,  having  as  content  the  death  of  beloved  relatives,  will 

be  considered  again  under  the  head  of  "  Typical  Dreams."     I 

shall  there  be  able  to  show  by  new  examples  that  in  spite  of 

their  undesirable  content,  all  these  dreams  must  be  interpreted 

as  wish-fulfilments.     For    the  following   dream,   which  again 

was  told  me  in  order  to  deter  me  from  a  hasty  generalisation  of 

the   theory  of    wishing  in  dreams,  I   am  indebted,  not  to  a 

patient,  but  to  an  intelligent  jurist  of  my  acquaintance.     "  I 

dream,"  my  informant  tells  me,  "  that  I  am  luallcing  in  front 

of  my  house  with  a  lady  on  my  arm.     Here  a  closed  luagon  is 

waiting,  a  gentleman  steps  up  to  me,  gives  his  authority  as  an 

agent  of  the  police,  and  demands  that  I  should  follow  him.     I 

only  ask  for  time  in  which  to  arrange  my  affairs.     Can  you 

possibly  suppose   this  is  a  wish  of  mine  to   be  arrested  ?  " 

"  Of  course  not,"  I  must  admit.     "  Do  you  happen  to  know 

upon  what  charge  you  were  arrested  ?  "     "  Yes  ;  I  believe  for 

infanticide."     "  Infanticide  ?     But    you    know    that    only    a 

mother  can  commit  this  crime  upon  her  newly  born  child  ?  " 

"  That  is  true."  *     "  And  under  what  circumstances  did  you 

*  It  often  happens  that  a  dream  is  told  incompletely,  and  that  a  recollec- 
tion of  the  omitted  portions  appears  only  in  the  course  of  the  analysis. 
These  portions  subsequently  fitted  in,  regularly  furnish  the  key  to  the 
interpretation.     Cf.  below,  about  forgetting  in  dreams. 


dream  ;  what  happened  on  the  evening  before  ?  "  "I  would 
rather  not  tell  you  that ;  it  is  a  delicate  matter."  "  But  I 
must  have  it,  otherwise  we  must  forgo  the  interpretation  of 
the  dream."  "  Well,  then,  I  will  tell  you.  I  spent  the  night, 
not  at  home,  but  at  the  house  of  a  lady  who  means  very  much 
to  me.  When  we  awoke  in  the  morning,  something  again 
passed  between  us.  Then  I  went  to  sleep  again,  and  dreamt 
what  I  have  told  you."  "  The  woman  is  married  ?  "  "  Yes." 
"  And  you  do  not  wish  her  to  conceive  a  child  ?  "  "  No  ;  that 
might  betray  us."  "  Then  you  do  not  practise  normal 
coitus  ?  "  "I  take  the  precaution  to  withdraw  before  ejacu- 
lation." "  Am  I  permitted  to  assume  that  you  did  this  trick 
several  times  during  the  night,  and  that  in  the  morning  you 
were  not  quite  sure  whether  you  had  succeeded  ?  "  "  That 
might  be  the  case."  "  Then  your  dream  is  the  fulfilment  of 
a  wish.  By  means  of  it  you  secure  the  assurance  that  you 
have  not  begotten  a  child,  or,  what  amounts  to  the  same  thing, 
that  you  have  killed  a  child.  I  can  easily  demonstrate  the 
connecting  links.  Do  you  remember,  a  few  days  ago  we  were 
talking  about  the  distress  of  matrimony  (Ehenot),  and  about 
the  inconsistency  of  permitting  the  practice  of  coitus  as  long 
as  no  impregnation  takes  place,  while  every  delinquency  after 
the  ovum  and  the  semen  meet  and  a  foetus  is  formed  is 
punished  as  a  crime  ?  In  connection  with  this,  we  also  re- 
called the  mediaeval  controversy  about  the  moment  of  time  at 
which  the  soul  is  really  lodged  in  the  foetus,  since  the  concept 
of  murder  becomes  admissible  only  from  that  point  on.  Doubt- 
less you  also  know  the  gruesome  poem  by  Lenau,  which  puts 
infanticide  and  the  prevention  of  children  on  the  same  plane." 
"  Strangely  enough,  I  had  happened  to  think  of  Lenau  during 
the  afternoon."  "  Another  echo  of  your  dream.  And  now 
I  shall  demonstrate  to  you  another  subordinate  wish-fulfilment 
in  your  dream.  You  walk  in  front  of  your  house  with  the  lady 
on  your  arm.  So  you  take  her  home,  instead  of  spending  the 
night  at  her  house,  as  you  do  in  actuality.  The  fact  that  the 
wish-fulfilment,  which  is  the  essence  of  the  dream,  disguises 
itself  in  such  an  unpleasant  form,  has  perhaps  more  than  one 
reason.  From  my  essay  on  the  etiology  of  anxiety  neuroses, 
you  will  see  that  I  note  interrupted  coitus  as  one  of  the  factors 
which  cause  the  development  of  neurotic  fear.     It  would  be 


consistent  with  this  that  if  after  repeated  cohabitation  of  the 
kind  mentioned  you  should  be  left  in  an  uncomfortable  mood, 
which  now  becomes  an  element  in  the  composition  of  your 
dream.  You  also  make  use  of  this  unpleasant  state  of  mind  to 
conceal  the  wish-fulfilment.  Furthermore,  the  mention  of 
infanticide  has  not  yet  been  explained.  Why  does  this  crime, 
which  is  peculiar  to  females,  occur  to  you  ?  "  "I  shall  confess 
to  you  that  I  was  involved  in  such  an  affair  years  ago.  Through 
my  fault  a  girl  tried  to  protect  herself  from  the  consequences 
of  a  liaison  with  me  by  securing  an  abortion.  I  had  nothing 
to  do  with  carrying  out  the  plan,  but  I  was  naturally  for  a 
long  time  worried  lest  the  affair  might  be  discovered."  "  I 
understand  ;  this  recollection  furnished  a  second  reason  why 
the  supposition  that  you  had  done  your  trick  badly  must  have 
been  painful  to  you." 

A  young  physician,  who  had  heard  this  dream  of  my 
colleague  when  it  was  told,  must  have  felt  implicated  by  it, 
for  he  hastened  to  imitate  it  in  a  dream  of  his  own,  applying 
its  mode  of  thinking  to  another  subject.  The  day  before  he 
had  handed  in  a  declaration  of  his  income,  which  was  perfectly 
honest,  because  he  had  little  to  declare.  He  dreamt  that  an 
acquaintance  of  his  came  from  a  meeting  of  the  tax  commission 
and  informed  him  that  all  the  other  declarations  of  income 
had  passed  uncontested,  but  that  his  own  had  awakened 
general  suspicion,  and  that  he  would  be  punished  with  a  heavy 
fine.  The  dream  is  a  poorly-concealed  fulfilment  of  the  wish 
to  be  known  as  a  physician  with  a  large  income.  It  likewise 
recalls  the  story  of  the  young  girl  who  was  advised  against 
accepting  her  suitor  because  he  was  a  man  of  quick  temper 
who  would  surely  treat  her  to  blows  after  they  were  married. 
The  answer  of  the  girl  was  :  "I  wish  he  would  strike  me  !  " 
Her  wish  to  be  married  is  so  strong  that  she  takes  into  the 
bargain  the  discomfort  which  is  said  to  be  connected  with 
matrimony,  and  which  is  predicted  for  her,  and  even  raises  it 
to  a  wish. 

If  I  group  the  very  frequently  occurring  dreams  of  this 
sort,  which  seem  flatly  to  contradict  my  theory,  in  that  they 
contain  the  denial  of  a  wish  or  some  occurrence  decidedly 
unwished  for,  under  the  head  of  "  counter  wish-dreams,"  I 
observe  that  they  may  all  be  referred  to  two  principles,  of 


which  one  has  not  yet  been  mentioned,  although  it  plays  a 
large  part  in  the  dreams  of  human  beings.  One  of  the  motives 
inspiring  these  dreams  is  the  wish  that  I  should  appear  in  the 
wrong.  These  dreams  regularly  occur  in  the  course  of  my 
treatment  if  the  patient  shows  a  resistance  against  me,  and  I 
can  count  with  a  large  degree  of  certainty  upon  causing  such 
a  dream  after  I  have  once  explained  to  the  patient  my  theory 
that  the  dream  is  a  wish-fulfilment.*  I  may  even  expect  this 
to  be  the  case  in  a  dream  merely  in  order  to  fulfil  the  wish 
that  I  may  appear  in  the  wrong.  The  last  dream  which  I 
shall  tell  from  those  occurring  in  the  course  of  treatment 
again  shows  this  very  thing.  A  young  girl  who  has  struggled 
hard  to  continue  my  treatment,  against  the  will  of  her  re- 
latives and  the  authorities  whom  she  has  consulted,  dreams  as 
follows  :  She  is  forbidden  at  home  to  come  to  me  any  more.  She 
then  reminds  me  of  the  promise  I  made  her  to  treat  her  for  nothing 
if  necessary,  and  I  say  to  her  :  "I  can  show  no  consideration  in 
money  matters" 

It  is  not  at  all  easy  in  this  case  to  demonstrate  the  fulfilment 
of  a  wish,  but  in  all  cases  of  this  kind  there  is  a  second  problem, 
the  solution  of  which  helps  also  to  solve  the  first.  Where 
does  she  get  the  words  which  she  puts  into  my  mouth  ?  Of 
course  I  have  never  told  her  anything  like  that,  but  one  of 
her  brothers,  the  very  one  who  has  the  greatest  influence  over 
her,  has  been  kind  enough  to  make  this  remark  about  me.  It 
is  then  the  purpose  of  the  dream  that  this  brother  should 
remain  in  the  right  ;  and  she  does  not  try  to  justify  this 
brother  merely  in  the  dream  ;  it  is  her  purpose  in  life  and  the 
motive  for  her  being  ill. 

The  other  motive  for  counter  wish-dreams  is  so  clear  that 
there  is  danger  of  overlooking  it,  as  for  some  time  happened  in 
my  own  case.  In  the  sexual  make-up  of  many  people  there  is 
a  masochistic  component,  which  has  arisen  through  the  con- 
version of  the  aggressive,  sadistic  component  into  its  opposite. 
Such  people  are  called  "  ideal "  masochists,  if  they  seek 
pleasure  not  in  the  bodily  pain  which  may  be  inflicted  upon 
them,   but  in  humiliation  and  in  chastisement  of  the  soul. 

*  Similar  "counter  wish-dreams"  have  been  repeatedly  reported  to  me 
within  the  last  few  years  by  my  pupils  who  thus  reacted  to  their  first  en- 
counter with  the  "wish  theory  of  the  dream." 


It  is  obvious  that  such  persons  can  have  counter  wish-dreams 
and  disagreeable  dreams,  which,  however,  for  them  are  nothing 
but  wish-fulfilments,  affording  satisfaction  for  their  masochistic 
inclinations.  Here  is  such  a  dream.  A  young  man,  who  has 
in  earlier  years  tormented  his  elder  brother,  towards  whom  he 
was  homosexually  inclined,  but  who  has  undergone  a  complete 
change  of  character,  has  the  following  dream,  which  consists 
of  three  parts  :  (1)  He  is  "  insulted  "  by  his  brother.  (2)  Two 
adults  are  caressing  each  other  with  homosexual  intentions.  (3) 
Eis  brother  has  sold  the  enterprise  whose  management  the  young 
man  reserved  for  his  own  future.  He  awakens  from  the  last- 
mentioned  dream  with  the  most  unpleasant  feelings,  and  yet 
it  is  a  masochistic  wish-dream,  which  might  be  translated  : 
It  would  serve  me  quite  right  if  my  brother  were  to  make  that 
sale  against  my  interest,  as  a  punishment  for  all  the  torments 
which  he  has  suffered  at  my  hands. 

I  hope  that  the  above  discussion  and  examples  will  suffice — 
until  further  objection  can  be  raised — to  make  it  seem  credible 
that  even  dreams  with  a  painful  content  are  to  be  analysed 
as  the  fulfilments  of  wishes.  Nor  will  it  seem  a  matter  of 
chance  that  in  the  course  of  interpretation  one  always  happens 
upon  subjects  of  which  one  does  not  like  to  speak  or  think. 
The  disagreeable  sensation  which  such  dreams  arouse  is 
simply  identical  with  the  antipathy  which  endeavours — usually 
with  success — to  restrain  us  from  the  treatment  or  discussion 
of  such  subjects,  and  which  must  be  overcome  by  all  of  us,  if,  in 
spite  of  its  unpleasantness,  we  find  it  necessary  to  take  the 
matter  in  hand.  But  this  disagreeable  sensation,  which 
occurs  also  in  dreams,  does  not  preclude  the  existence  of  a 
wish  ;  everyone  has  wishes  which  he  would  not  like  to  tell  to 
others,  which  he  does  not  want  to  admit  even  to  himself.  We 
are,  on  other  grounds,  justified  in  connecting  the  disagreeable 
character  of  all  these  dreams  with  the  fact  of  dream  disfigure- 
ment, and  in  concluding  that  these  dreams  are  distorted,  and 
that  the  wish-fulfilment  in  them  is  disguised  until  recognition 
is  impossible  for  no  other  reason  than  that  a  repugnance,  a 
will  to  suppress,  exists  in  relation  to  the  subject-matter  of 
the  dream  or  in  relation  to  the  wish  which  the  dream  creates. 
Dream  disfigurement,  then,  turns  out  in  reality  to  be  an  act 
of  the  censor.     We    shall  take  into  consideration  everything 


which  the  analysis  of  disagreeable  dreams  has  brought  to 
light  if  we  reword  our  formula  as  follows  :  The  dream  is  the 
(disguised)  fulfilment  of  a  (suppressed,  repressed)  wish* 

Now  there  still  remain  as  a  particular  species  of  dreams 
with  painful  content,  dreams  of  anxiety,  the  inclusion  of 
which  under  dreams  of  wishing  will  find  least  acceptance  with 
the  uninitiated.  But  I  can  settle  the  problem  of  anxiety 
dreams  in  very  short  order  ;  for  what  they  may  reveal  is  not 
a  new  aspect  of  the  dream  problem  ;  it  is  a  question  in  their 
case  of  understanding  neurotic  anxiety  in  general.  The  fear 
which  we  experience  in  the  dream  is  only  seemingly  explained 
by  the  dream  content.  If  we  subject  the  content  of  the 
dream  to  analysis,  we  become  aware  that  the  dream  fear  is  no 
more  justified  by  the  dream  content  than  the  fear  in  a  phobia 
is  justified  by  the  idea  upon  which  the  phobia  depends.  For 
example,  it  is  true  that  it  is  possible  to  fall  out  of  a  window, 
and  that  some  care  must  be  exercised  when  one  is  near  a 
window,  but  it  is  inexplicable  why  the  anxiety  in  the  corre- 
sponding phobia  is  so  great,  and  why  it  follows  its  victims  to 
an  extent  so  much  greater  than  is  warranted  by  its  origin. 
The  same  explanation,  then,  which  applies  to  the  phobia 
applies  also  to  the  dream  of  anxiety.  In  both  cases  the 
anxiety  is  only  superficially  attached  to  the  idea  which  accom- 
panies it  and  comes  from  another  source. 

On  account  of  the  intimate  relation  of  dream  fear  to  neurotic 
fear,  discussion  of  the  former  obliges  me  to  refer  to  the  latter. 
In  a  little  essay  on  "  The  Anxiety  Neurosis,"  f  I  maintained 
that  neurotic  fear  has  its  origin  in  the  sexual  life,  and  corre- 
sponds to  a  libido  which  has  been  turned  away  from  its  object 
and  has  not  succeeded  in  being  applied.  From  this  formula, 
which  has  since  proved  its  validity  more  and  more  clearly, 
we  may  deduce  the  conclusion  that  the  content  of  anxiety 
dreams  is  of  a  sexual  nature,  the  libido  belonging  to  which 

*  We  may  mention  here  the  simplification  and  modification  of  this 
fundamental  formula,  propounded  by  Otto  Rank  :  "  On  the  basis  and  with 
the  help  of  repressed  infantile  sexual  material,  the  dream  regularly  repre- 
sents as  fulfilled  actual,  and  as  a  rule  also  erotic,  wishes,  in  a  disguised  and 
symbolic  form."  ("  Ein  Traum,  der  sich  selbst  deutet,"  Jahrbuch,  v.,  Bleuler- 
Freud,  II.  B.,  p.  519,  1910.) 

f  See  Selected  Papers  on  Hysteria  and  other  Psychoneuroses,  p.  133,  trans- 
lated by  A.  A.  Brill,  Journal  of  Nervous  and  Mental  Diseases,  Monograph 


content  has  been  transformed  into  fear.  Later  on  I  shall 
have  opportunity  to  support  this  assertion  by  the  analysis  of 
several  dreams  of  neurotics.  I  shall  have  occasion  to  revert 
to  the  determinations  in  anxiety  dreams  and  their  com- 
patibility with  the  theory  of  wish-fulfilment  when  I  again 
attempt  to  approach  the  theory  of  dreams. 


After  coming  to  realise  from  the  analysis  of  the  dream  of 
Irma's  injection  that  the  dream  is  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish, 
our  interest  was  next  directed  to  ascertaining  whether  we  had 
thus  discovered  a  universal  characteristic  of  the  dream,  and 
for  the  time  being  we  put  aside  every  other  question  which 
may  have  been  aroused  in  the  course  of  that  interpretation. 
Now  that  we  have  reached  the  goal  upon  one  of  these  paths, 
we  may  turn  back  and  select  a  new  starting-point  for  our 
excursions  among  the  problems  of  the  dream,  even  though  we 
may  lose  sight  for  a  time  of  the  theme  of  wish-fulfilment, 
which  has  been  as  yet  by  no  means  exhaustively  treated. 

Now  that  we  are  able,  by  applying  our  process  of  inter- 
pretation, to  discover  a  latent  dream  content  which  far  sur- 
passes the  manifest  dream  content  in  point  of  significance,  we 
are  impelled  to  take  up  the  individual  dream  problems  afresh, 
in  order  to  see  whether  the  riddles  and  contradictions  which 
seemed,  when  we  had  only  the  manifest  content,  beyond  our 
reach  may  not  be  solved  for  us  satisfactorily. 

The  statements  of  the  authors  concerning  the  relation  of 
the  dream  to  waking  life,  as  well  as  concerning  the  source  of 
the  dream  material,  have  been  given  at  length  in  the  intro- 
ductory chapter.  We  may  recall  that  there  are  three  pecu- 
liarities of  recollection  in  the  dreams,  which  have  been  often 
remarked  but  never  explained  : 

1.  That  the  dream  distinctly  prefers  impressions  of  the 
few  days  preceding  (Robert,55  Strümpell,66  Hildebrandt,35  also 
Weed-Hallam  88). 

2.  That  it  makes  its  selection  according  to  principles  other 
than  those  of  our  waking  memory,  in  that  it  recalls  not  what 
is  essential  and  important,  but  what  is  subordinate  and  dis- 
regarded (c/.  p.  13). 


THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        139 

3.  That  it  has  at  its  disposal  the  earliest  impressions  of 
our  childhood,  and  brings  to  light  details  from  this  period  of 
life  which  again  seem  trivial  to  us,  and  which  in  waking  life 
were  considered  long  ago  forgotten.* 

These  peculiarities  in  the  selection  of  the  dream  material 
have  of  course  been  observed  by  the  authors .  in  connection 
with  the  manifest  dream  content. 

(a)  Recent  and  Indifferent  Impressions  in  the  Dream 

If  I  now  consult  my  own  experience  concerning  the  source 
of  the  elements  which  appear  in  the  dream,  I  must  at  once 
express  the  opinion  that  some  reference  to  the  experiences  of 
the  day  which  has  most  recently  passed  is  to  be  found  in  every 
dream.  Whatever  dream  I  take  up,  whether  my  own  or 
another's,  this  experience  is  always  re-affirmed.  Knowing 
this  fact,  I  can  usually  begin  the  work  of  interpretation  by 
trying  to  learn  the  experience  of  the  previous  day  which  has 
stimulated  the  dream  ;  for  many  cases,  indeed,  this  is  the 
quickest  way.  In  the  case  of  the  two  dreams  which  I  have 
subjected  to  close  analysis  in  the  preceding  chapter  (of  Irma's 
injection,  and  of  my  uncle  with  the  yellow  beard)  the  reference 
to  the  previous  day  is  so  obvious  that  it  needs  no  further 
elucidation.  But  in  order  to  show  that  this  reference  may  be 
regularly  demonstrated,  I  shall  examine  a  portion  of  my  own 
dream  chronicle.  I  shall  report  the  dreams  only  so  far  as  is 
necessary  for  the  discovery  of  the  dream  stimulus  in  question. 

1.  I  make  a  visit  at  a  house  where  I  am  admitted  only  with 
difficulty,  &c,  and  meanwhile  I  keep  a  woman  waiting  for  me. 

Source. — A  conversation  in  the  evening  with  a  female 
relative  to  the  effect  that  she  would  have  to  wait  for  some  aid 
which  she  demanded  until,  &c. 

2.  I  have  written  a  monograph  about  a  certain  (obscure) 
species  of  plant. 

Source. — I  have  seen  in  the  show-window  of  a  book  store  a 
monograph  upon  the  genus  cyclamen. 

*  It  is  clear  that  the  conception  of  Robert,  that  the  dream  is  intended  to 
rid  our  memory  of  the  useless  impressions  which  it  has  received  during  the 
day,  is  no  longer  tenable,  if  indifferent  memories  of  childhood  appear  in  the 
dream  with  some  degree  of  frequency.  The  conclusion  would  have  to  be 
drawn  that  the  dream  ordinarily  performs  very  inadequately  the  duty  which 
is  prescribed  for  it. 


3.  I  see  two  women  on  the  street,  mother  and  daughter,  the 
latter  of  whom  is  my  patient. 

Source. — A  female  patient  who  is  under  treatment  has  told 
me  what  difficulties  her  mother  puts  in  the  way  of  her  continu- 
ing the  treatment. 

4.  At  the  book  store  of  S.  and  R.  I  subscribe  to  a  periodical 
which  costs  20  florins  annually. 

Source. — During  the  day  my  wife  has  reminded  me  that  I 
still  owe  her  20  florins  of  her  weekly  allowance. 

5.  I  receive  a  communication,  in  which  I  am  treated  as  a 
member,  from  the  Social  Democratic  Committee. 

Source. — I  have  received  communications  simultaneously  from 
the  Liberal  Committee  on  Elections  and  from  the  president  of 
the  Humanitarian  Society,  of  which  I  am  really  a  member. 

6.  A  man  on  a  steep  rock  in  the  middle  of  the  ocean,  after 
the  manner  of  Boecklin. 

Source. — Dreyfus  on  DeviVs  Island ;  at  the  same  time  news 
from  my  relatives  in  England,  &c. 

The  question  might  be  raised,  whether  the  dream  is  in- 
variably connected  with  the  events  of  the  previous  day,  or 
whether  the  reference  may  be  extended  to  impressions  from  a 
longer  space  of  time  in  the  immediate  past.  Probably  this 
matter  cannot  claim  primary  importance,  but  I  should  like 
to  decide  in  favour  of  the  exclusive  priority  of  the  day  before 
the  dream  (the  dream-day).  As  often  as  I  thought  I  had 
found  a  case  where  an  impression  of  two  or  three  days  before 
had  been  the  source  of  the  dream,  I  could  convince  myself, 
after  careful  investigation,  that  this  impression  had  been 
remembered  the  day  before,  that  a  demonstrable  reproduction 
had  been  interpolated  between  the  day  of  the  event  and  the 
time  of  the  dream,  and,  furthermore,  I  was  able  to  point  out  the 
recent  occasion  upon  which  the  recollection  of  the  old  im- 
pression might  have  occurred.  On  the  other  hand,  I  was 
unable  to  convince  myself  that  a  regular  interval  (H.  Swoboda 
calls  the  first  one  of  this  kind  eighteen  hours)  of  biological 
significance  occurs  between  the  stimulating  impression  of  the 
day  and  its  repetition  in  the  dream.* 

*  As  mentioned  in  the  first  chapter,  p.  67,  H.  Swoboda  applies  broadly 
to  the  psychic  activity,  the  biological  intervals  of  twenty-three  and  twenty- 
ei^'ht  days  discovered  by  W.  FlieflB,  and  lays  especial  emphasis  upon  the  fact 
that  these  periods  are  determinant  for  the  appearance  of  the  dream  elements 

THE    MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        141 

I  am,  therefore,  of  the  opinion  that  the  stimulus  for 
every  dream  is  to  be  found  among  those  experiences  "  upon 
which  one  has  not  yet  slept  "  for  a  night. 

Thus  the  impressions  of  the  immediate  past  (with  the 
exception  of  the  day  before  the  night  of  the  dream)  stand  in 
no  different  relation  to  the  dream  content  from  those  of  times 
which  are  as  far  removed  in  the  past  as  you  please.  The  dream 
may  select  its  material  from  all  times  of  life,  provided  only, 

in  dreams.  There  would  be  no  material  change  in  dream  interpretation  if 
this  could  be  proven,  but  it  would  result  in  a  new  source  for  the  origin  of 
the  dream  material.  I  have  recently  undertaken  some  examination  of  my 
own  dreams  in  order  to  test  the  applicability  of  the  "  Period  Theory"  to  the 
dream  material,  and  I  have  selected  for  this  purpose  especially  striking 
elements  of  the  dream  content,  whose  origin  could  be  definitely  ascertained  : — 

I. — Dream  from  October  1-2,  1910 

(Fragment)  .  .  .  Somewhere  in  Italy.  Three  daughters  show  me  small 
costly  objects,  as  if  in  an  antiquity  shop.  At  the  same  time  they  sit  down 
on  my  lap.  Of  one  of  the  pieces  I  remark  :  "Why,  you  got  this  from  me." 
I  also  see  distinctly  a  small  profile  mask  with  the  angular  features  of 

When  have  I  last  seen  a  picture  of  Savonarola  ?  According  to  my  travel- 
ling diary,  I  was  in  Florence  on  the  fourth  and  fifth  of  September,  and  while 
there  thought  of  showing  my  travelling  companion  the  plaster  medallion  of 
the  features  of  the  fanatical  monk  in  the  Piazza  Signoria,  the  same  place 
where  he  met  his  death  by  burning.  I  believe  that  I  called  his  attention  to 
it  at  3  a.m.  To  be  sure,  from  this  impression,  until  its  return  in  the  dream, 
there  was  an  interval  of  twenty-seven  and  one  days — a  "  feminine  period," 
according  to  Fliess.  But,  unfortunately  for  the  demonstrative  force  of  this 
example,  I  must  add  that  on  the  very  day  of  the  dream  I  was  visited  (the 
first  time  after  my  return)  by  the  able  but  melancholy-looking  colleague 
whom  I  had  already  years  before  nicknamed  "  Eabbi  Savonarola."  He 
brought  me  a  patient  who  had  met  with  an  accident  on  the  Pottebba  rail- 
road, on  which  I  had  myself  travelled  eight  days  before,  and  my  thoughts 
were  thus  turned  to  my  last  Italian  journey.  The  appearance  in  the  dream 
content  of  the  striking  element  of  Savonarola  is  explained  by  the  visit  of 
my  colleague  on  the  day  of  the  dream  ;  the  twenty-eight  day  interval  had  no 
significance  in  its  origin. 

II. — Dream  from  October  10-11 

I  am  again  studying  chemistry  in  the  University  laboratory.  Court 
Councillor  L.  invites  me  to  come  to  another  place,  and  walks  before  me  in 
the  corridor  carrying  in  front  of  him  in  his  uplifted  hand  a  lamp  or  some 
other  instrument,  and  assuming  a  peculiar  attitude,  his  head  stretched  for- 
ward.    We  then  come  to  an  open  space  .  .  .  (rest  forgotten). 

In  this  dream  content,  the  most  striking  part  is  the  manner  in  which 
Court  Councillor  L.  carries  the  lamp  (or  lupe)  in  front  of  him,  his  gaze 
directed  into  the  distance.  I  have  not  seen  L.  for  many  years,  but  I  now 
know  that  he  is  only  a  substitute  for  another  greater  person — for  Archimedes 
near  the  Arethusa  fountain  in  Syracuse,  who  stands  there  exactly  like  L. 
in  the  dream,  holding  the  burning  mirror  and  gazing  at  the  besieging  army 


that  a  chain  of  thought  starting  from  one  of  the  experiences 
of  the  day  of  the  dream  (one  of  the  "  recent  "  impressions) 
reaches  back  to  these  earlier  ones. 

But  why  this  preference  for  recent  impressions  ?  We  shall 
reach  some  conjectures  on  this  point  if  we  subject  one  of  the 
dreams  already  mentioned  to  a  more  exact  analysis.  I  select 
the  dream  about  the  monograph. 

Content  of  the  dream. — I  have  written  a  monograph  upon  a 

of  the  Romans.  When  had  I  first  (and  last)  seen  this  monument  ?  Accord- 
ing to  my  notes,  it  was  on  the  seventeenth  day  of  September,  in  the  evening, 
and  from  this  date  to  the  dream  there  really  passed  13  and  10,  equals 
23,  days — according  to  Fliess,  a  "  masculine  period." 

But  I  regret  to  say  that  here,  too,  this  connection  seems  somewhat  less 
inevitable  when  we  enter  into  the  interpretation  of  this  dream.  The  dream 
was  occasioned  by  the  information,  received  on  the  day  of  the  dream,  that 
the  lecture-room  in  the  clinic  in  which  I  was  invited  to  deliver  my  lectures 
had  been  changed  to  some  other  place.  I  took  it  for  granted  that  the  new 
room  was  very  inconveniently  situated,  and  said  to  myself,  it  is  as  bad  as  not 
having  any  lecture-room  at  my  disposal.  My  thoughts  must  have  then 
taken  me  back  to  the  time  when  I  first  became  a  docent,  when  I  really  had 
no  lecture-room,  and  when,  in  my  efforts  to  get  one,  I  met  with  little  en- 
couragement from  the  very  influential  gentlemen  councillors  and  professors. 
In  my  distress  at  that  time,  I  appealed  to  L.,  who  then  had  the  title  of  dean, 
and  whom  I  considered  kindly  disposed.  He  promised  to  help  me,  but  that 
was  all  I  ever  heard  from  him.  In  the  dream  he  is  the  Archimedes,  who 
gives  me  the  Tr-qvTw  and  leads  me  into  the  other  room.  That  neither  the 
desire  for  revenge  nor  the  consciousness  of  one's  own  importance  is  absent 
in  this  dream  will  be  readily  divined  by  those  familiar  with  dream  inter- 
pretation. I  must  conclude,  however,  that  without  this  motive  for  the 
dream,  Archimedes  would  hardly  have  got  into  the  dream  that  night.  I 
am  not  certain  whether  the  strong  and  still  recent  impression  of  the  statue 
in  Syracuse  did  not  also  come  to  the  surface  at  a  different  interval  of  time. 

III.— -Dream  from  October  2-3,  1910. 

(Fragment)  .  .  .  Something  about  Professor  Oser,  who  himself  prepared 
the  menu  for  me,  which  served  to  restore  me  to  great  peace  of  mind  (rest 

The  dream  was  a  reaction  to  the  digestive  disturbances  of  this  day,  which 
made  me  consider  asking  one  of  my  colleagues  to  arrange  a  diet  for  me. 
That  in  the  dream  I  selected  for  this  purpose  Professor  Oser,  who  had  died 
in  the  summer,  is  based  on  the  recent  death  (October  1)  of  another  university 
teacher,  whom  I  highly  revered.  But  when  did  Oser  die,  and  when  did  I 
hear  of  his  death  ?  According  to  the  newspaper  notice,  he  died  on  the 
22nd  of  August,  but  as  I  was  at  the  time  in  Holland,  whither  my  Vienna 
newspapers  were  regularly  sent  nie,  I  must  have  read  the  obituary  notice 
on  the  24th  or  25th  of  August.  This  interval  no  longer  corresponds  to  any 
period.  It  takes  in  7  and  30  and  2,  eqimls  39,  days,  or  perhaps  38  days.  I 
cannot  recall  having  spoken  or  thought  of  Oser  during  this  interval. 

Such  intervals  as  were  not  available  for  the  "period  theory"  without 
further  elaboration,  were  shown  from  my  dreams  to  be  far  more  frequent 
than  the  regular  ones.  As  maintained  in  the  text,  the  only  thing  constantly 
found  is  the  relation  to  an  impression  of  the  day  of  the  dream  itself. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         143 

certain  'plant.  The  book  lies  before  me,  I  am  just  turning  over 
a  folded  coloured  'plate.  A  dried  specimen  of  the  plant  is  bound 
with  every  copy,  as  though  from  a  herbarium. 

Analysis. — In  the  forenoon  I  saw  in  the  show-window  of  a 
book  store  a  book  entitled,  The  Genus  Cyclamen,  apparently 
a  monograph  on  this  plant. 

The  cyclamen  is  the  favourite  flower  of  my  wife.  I  re- 
proach myself  for  so  seldom  thinking  to  bring  her  flowers,  as 
she  wishes.  In  connection  with  the  theme  "  bringing  flowers," 
I  am  reminded  of  a  story  which  I  recently  told  in  a  circle  of 
friends  to  prove  my  assertion  that  forgetting  is  very  often  the 
purpose  of  the  unconscious,  and  that  in  any  case  it  warrants 
a  conclusion  as  to  the  secret  disposition  of  the  person  who 
forgets.  A  young  woman  who  is  accustomed  to  receive  a 
bunch  of  flowers  from  her  husband  on  her  birthday,  misses 
this  token  of  affection  on  a  festive  occasion  of  this  sort,  and 
thereupon  bursts  into  tears.  The  husband  comes  up,  and 
is  unable  to  account  for  her  tears  until  she  tells  him,  "  To-day 
is  my  birthday."  He  strikes  his  forehead  and  cries,  "  Why, 
I  had  completely  forgotten  it,"  and  wants  to  go  out  to  get  her 
some  flowers.  But  she  is  not  to  be  consoled,  for  she  sees  in 
the  forgetfulness  of  her  husband  a  proof  that  she  does  not 
play  the  same  part  in  his  thoughts  as  formerly.  This  Mrs.  L. 
met  my  wife  two  days  before,  and  told  her  that  she  was  feeling 
well,  and  asked  about  me.  She  was  under  my  treatment  years 

Supplementary  facts  :  I  once  actually  wrote  something 
like  a  monograph  on  a  plant,  namely,  an  essay  on  the  coca 
plant,  which  drew  the  attention  of  K.  Koller  to  the  anassthetic 
properties  of  cocaine.  I  had  hinted  at  this  use  of  the  alkaloid 
in  my  publication,  but  I  was  not  sufficiently  thorough  to 
pursue  the  matter  further.  This  suggests  that  on  the  forenoon 
of  the  day  after  the  dream  (for  the  interpretation  of  which  I 
did  not  find  time  until  the  evening)  I  had  thought  of  cocaine 
in  a  kind  of  day  phantasy.  In  case  I  should  ever  be  afflicted 
with  glaucoma,  I  was  going  to  go  to  Berlin,  and  there  have 
myself  operated  upon,  incognito,  at  the  house  of  my  Berlin 
friend,  by  a  physician  whom  he  would  recommend  to  me.  The 
surgeon,  who  would  not  know  upon  whom  he  was  operating, 
would  boast  as  usual  how  easy  these  operations  had  become 


since  the  introduction  of  cocaine  ;  I  would  not  betray  by  a 
single  sign  that  I  had  had  a  share  in  making  this  discovery. 
With  this  phantasy  were  connected  thoughts  of  how  difficult 
it  really  is  for  a  doctor  to  claim  the  medical  services  of  a 
colleague  for  his  own  person.  I  should  be  able  to  pay  the 
Berlin  eye  speciahst,  who  did  not  know  me,  like  anyone  else. 
Only  after  recalling  this  day-dream  do  I  realise  that  the 
recollection  of  a  definite  experience  is  concealed  behind  it. 
Shortly  after  Roller's  discovery  my  father  had,  in  fact,  become 
ill  with  glaucoma ;  he  was  operated  upon  by  my  friend,  the 
eye  specialist,  Dr.  Koenigstein.  Dr.  Koller  attended  to  the 
cocaine  anaesthetisation,  and  thereupon  made  the  remark 
that  all  three  of  the  persons  who  had  shared  in  the  intro- 
duction of  cocaine  had  been  brought  together  on  one  case. 

I  now  proceed  to  think  of  the  time  when  I  was  last  re- 
minded of  this  affair  about  the  cocaine.  This  was  a  few  days 
before,  when  I  received  a  Festschrift,  with  whose  publication 
grateful  scholars  had  commemorated  the  anniversary  of  their 
teacher  and  laboratory  director.  Among  the  honours 
ascribed  to  persons  connected  with  the  laboratory,  I  found  a 
notice  to  the  effect  that  the  discovery  of  the  anaesthetic  pro- 
perties of  cocaine  had  been  made  there  by  K.  Koller.  Now  I 
suddenly  become  aware  that  the  dream  is  connected  with  an 
experience  of  the  previous  evening.  I  had  just  accompanied 
Dr.  Koenigstein  to  his  home,  and  had  spoken  to  him  about  a 
matter  which  strongly  arouses  my  interest  whenever  it  is 
mentioned.  While  I  was  talking  with  him  in  the  vestibule, 
Professor  Gärtner  and  his  young  wife  came  up.  I  could 
not  refrain  from  congratulating  them  both  upon  their  healthy 
appearance.  Now  Professor  Gärtner  is  one  of  the  authors 
of  the  Festschrift  of  which  I  have  just  spoken,  and  may  well 
have  recalled  it  to  me.  Likewise  Mrs.  L.,  whose  birthday 
disappointment  I  have  referred  to,  had  been  mentioned,  in 
another  connection,  to  be  sure,  in  the  conversation  with  Dr. 

I  shall  now  try  to  explain  the  other  determinations  of  the 
dream  content.  A  dried  specimen  of  the  plant  accompanies 
the  monograph  as  though  it  were  a  herbarium.  A  recollection 
of  the  gymnasium  (school)  is  connected  with  the  herbarium. 
The  director  of  our  gymnasium  once  called  the  scholars  of  the 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        145 

higher  classes  together  in  order  to  have  them  inspect  and 
clean  the  herbarium.  Small  worms  had  been  found — book- 
worms. The  director  did  not  seem  to  have  much  confidence 
in  my  help,  for  he  left  only  a  few  leaves  for  me.  I  know  to  this 
day  that  there  were  crucifers  on  them.  My  interest  in  botany 
was  never  very  great.  At  my  preliminary  examination  in 
botany,  I  was  required  to  identify  a  crucifer,  and  did  not 
recognise  it.  I  would  have  fared  badly  if  my  theoretical 
knowledge  had  not  helped  me  out.  Crucifers  suggest  com- 
posites. The  artichoke  is  really  a  composite,  and  the  one 
which  I  might  call  my  favourite  flower.  My  wife,  who  is 
more  thoughtful  than  I,  often  brings  this  favourite  flower  of 
mine  home  from  the  market. 

I  see  the  monograph  which  I  have  written  lying  before  me. 
This,  too,  is  not  without  its  reference.  The  friend  whom  I 
pictured  wrote  to  me  yesterday  from  Berlin  :  "I  think  a 
great  deal  about  your  dream  book,  i"  see  it  lying  before  me 
finished,  and  am  turning  over  its  leaves."  How  I  envied  him 
this  prophetic  power  !  If  I  could  only  see  it  lying  already 
finished  before  me  ! 

The  folded  Coloured  Plate. — While  I  was  a  student  of  medicine, 
I  suffered  much  from  a  fondness  for  studying  in  monographs 
exclusively.  In  spite  of  my  limited  means,  I  subscribed  to  a 
number  of  the  medical  archives,  in  which  the  coloured  plates 
gave  me  much  delight.  I  was  proud  of  this  inclination  for 
thoroughness.  So,  when  I  began  to  publish  on  my  own  account, 
I  had  to  draw  the  plates  for  my  own  treatises,  and  I  remember 
one  of  them  turned  out  so  badly  that  a  kindly-disposed  col- 
league ridiculed  me  for  it.  This  suggests,  I  don't  know  exactly 
how,  a  very  early  memory  from  my  youth.  My  father  once 
thought  it  would  be  a  joke  to  hand  over  a  book  with  coloured 
plates  (Description  of  a  Journey  in  Persia)  to  me  and  my  eldest 
sister  for  destruction.  This  was  hardly  to  be  justified  from 
an  educational  point  of  view.  I  was  at  the  time  five  years 
old,  and  my  sister  three,  and  the  picture  of  our  blissfully  tearing 
this  book  to  pieces  (like  an  artichoke,  I  must  add,  leaf  by  leaf) 
is  almost  the  only  one  from  this  time  of  life  which  has  remained 
fresh  in  my  memory.  When  I  afterwards  became  a  student, 
I  developed  a  distinct  fondness  for  collecting  and  possessing 
books  (an  analogy  to  the  inclination  for  studying  from  mono- 



graphs,  a  hobby  which  occurs  in  the  dream  thoughts  with 
reference  to  cyclamen  and  artichoke).  I  became  a  book- worm 
(c/.  herbarium).  I  have  always  referred  this  first  passion  of 
my  life — since  I  am  engaging  in  retrospect — to  this  childhood 
impression,  or  rather  I  have  recognised  in  this  childish  scene 
a  "  concealing  recollection  "  for  my  subsequent  love  of  books.* 
Of  course  I  also  learned  at  an  early  age  that  our  passions  are 
often  our  sorrows.  When  I  was  seventeen  years  old  I  had  a 
very  respectable  bill  at  the  book  store,  and  no  means  with 
which  to  pay  it,  and  my  father  would  hardly  accept  the  excuse 
that  my  inclination  had  not  been  fixed  on  something  worse. 
But  the  mention  of  this  later  youthful  experience  immediately 
brings  me  back  to  my  conversation  that  evening  with  my 
friend  Dr.  Koenigstein.  For  the  talk  on  the  evening  of  the 
dream-day  brought  up  the  same  old  reproach  that  I  am  too 
fond  of  my  hobbies. 

For  reasons  which  do  not  belong  here,  I  shall  not  continue 
the  interpretation  of  this  dream,  but  shall  simply  indicate  the 
path  which  leads  to  it.  In  the  course  of  the  interpretation, 
I  was  reminded  of  my  conversation  with  Dr.  Koenigstein,  and 
indeed  of  more  than  one  portion  of  it.  If  I  consider  the 
subjects  touched  upon  in  this  conversation,  the  meaning  of 
the  dream  becomes  clear  to  me.  All  the  thought  associations 
which  have  been  started,  about  the  hobbies  of  my  wife  and  of 
myself,  about  the  cocaine,  about  the  difficulty  of  securing 
medical  treatment  from  one's  colleagues,  my  preference  for 
monographic  studies,  and  my  neglect  of  certain  subjects  such 
as  botany — all  this  continues  and  connects  with  some  branch 
of  this  widely  ramified  conversation.  The  dream  again  takes 
on  the  character  of  a  justification,  of  a  pleading  for  my  rights, 
like  the  first  analysed  dream  of  Irma's  injection  ;  it  even 
continues  the  theme  which  that  dream  started,  and  discusses 
it  with  the  new  subject  matter  which  has  accrued  in  the  interval 
between  the  two  dreams.  Even  the  apparently  indifferent 
manner  of  expression  of  the  dream  receives  new  importance. 
The  meaning  is  now  :  "I  am  indeed  the  man  who  has  written 
that  valuable  and  successful  treatise  (on  cocaine),"  just  as  at 
that  time  I  asserted  for  my  justification  :    "I  am  a  thorough 

*  Cf.  my  essay,  "  Ueber  Deckerinnerungen,"  in  the  Monatschrift  für 
Psychiatrie  und  Neurologie,  1899. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         147 

and  industrious  student ;  "  in  both  cases,  then  :  "I  can  afford 
to  do  that."  But  I  may  dispense  with  the  further  inter- 
pretation of  the  dream,  because  my  only  purpose  in  reporting 
it  was  to  examine  the  relation  of  the  dream  content  to  the 
experience  of  the  previous  day  which  arouses  it.  As  long  as 
I  know  only  the  manifest  content  of  this  dream,  but  one 
relation  to  a  day  impression  becomes  obvious  ;  after  I  have 
made  the  interpretation,  a  second  source  of  the  dream  becomes 
evident  in  another  experience  of  the  same  day.  The  first  of 
these  impressions  to  which  the  dream  refers  is  an  indifferent 
one,  a  subordinate  circumstance.  I  see  a  book  in  a  shop 
window  whose  title  holds  me  for  a  moment,  and  whose  contents 
could  hardly  interest  me.  The  second  experience  has  great 
psychic  value  ;  I  have  talked  earnestly  with  my  friend,  the 
eye  specialist,  for  about  an  hour,  I  have  made  allusions  in 
this  conversation  which  must  have  touched  both  of  us  closely, 
and  which  awakened  memories  revealing  the  most  diverse 
feelings  of  my  inner  self.  Furthermore,  this  conversation  was 
broken  off  unfinished  because  some  friends  joined  us.  What, 
now,  is  the  relation  of  these  two  impressions  of  the  day  to  each 
other  and  to  the  dream  which  followed  during  the  next  night  ? 

I  find  in  the  manifest  content  merely  an  allusion  to  the 
indifferent  impression,  and  may  thus  reaffirm  that  the  dream 
preferably  takes  up  into  its  content  non-essential  experiences. 
In  the  dream  interpretation,  on  the  contrary,  everything  con- 
verges upon  an  important  event  which  is  justified  in  demanding 
attention.  If  I  judge  the  dream  in  the  only  correct  way, 
according  to  the  latent  content  which  is  brought  to  light  in 
the  analysis,  I  have  unawares  come  upon  a  new  and  important 
fact.  I  see  the  notion  that  the  dream  deals  only  with  the 
worthless  fragments  of  daily  experience  shattered ;  I  am 
compelled  also  to  contradict  the  assertion  that  our  waking 
psychic  life  is  not  continued  in  the  dream,  and  that  the  dream 
instead  wastes  psychic  activity  upon  a  trifling  subject  matter. 
The  opposite  is  true  ;  what  has  occupied  our  minds  during  the 
day  also  dominates  our  dream  thoughts,  and  we  take  pains  to 
dream  only  of  such  matters  as  have  given  us  food  for  thought 
during  the  day. 

Perhaps  the  most  obvious  explanation  for  the  fact  that  I 
dream  about  some    indifferent  impression  of  the  day,  while 


the  impression  which  is  justifiably  stirring  furnishes  the 
occasion  for  dreaming,  is  that  this  again  is  a  phenomenon  of 
the  dream-disfigurement,  which  we  have  above  traced  to  a 
psychic  power  acting  as  a  censor.  The  recollection  of  the 
monograph  on  the  genus  cyclamen  is  employed  as  though  it 
were  an  allusion  to  the  conversation  with  my  friend,  very 
much  as  mention  of  the  friend  in  the  dream  of  the  deferred 
supper  is  represented  by  the  allusion  "  smoked  salmon."  The 
only  question  is,  by  what  intermediate  steps  does  the  im- 
pression of  the  monograph  come  to  assume  the  relation  of  an 
allusion  to  the  conversation  with  the  eye  speciahst,  since  such 
a  relation  is  not  immediately  evident.  In  the  example  of  the 
deferred  supper,  the  relation  is  set  forth  at  the  outset ;  "  smoked 
salmon,"  as  the  favourite  dish  of  the  friend,  belongs  at  once 
to  the  series  of  associations  which  the  person  of  the  friend  would 
call  up  in  the  lady  who  is  dreaming.  In  our  new  example 
we  have  two  separated  impressions,  which  seem  at  first  glance 
to  have  nothing  in  common  except  that  they  occur  on  the 
same  day.  The  monograph  catches  my  attention  in  the 
forenoon  ;  I  take  part  in  the  conversation  in  the  evening. 
The  answer  supplied  by  the  analysis  is  as  follows  :  Such  re- 
lations between  the  two  impressions  do  not  at  first  exist,  but 
are  established  subsequently  between  the  presentation  content 
of  the  one  impression  and  the  presentation  content  of  the 
other.  I  have  recently  emphasised  the  components  in  this 
relation  in  the  course  of  recording  the  analysis.  With  the 
notion  of  the  monograph  on  cyclamen  I  should  probably 
associate  the  idea  that  cyclamen  is  my  wife's  favourite  flower 
only  under  some  outside  influence,  and  this  is  perhaps  the 
further  recollection  of  the  bunch  of  flowers  missed  by  Mrs.  L. 
I  do  not  believe  that  these  underlying  thoughts  would  have 
been  sufficient  to  call  forth  a  dream. 

"  There  needs  no  ghost,  my  lord,  come  from  the  grave 
To  tell  us  this," 

as  we  read  in  Hamlet.  But  behold !  I  am  reminded  in 
the  analysis  that  the  name  of  the  man  who  interrupted  our 
conversation  was  Gärtner  (Gardener),  and  that  I  found  his 
wife  in  blooming  health  ;  *    I  even  remember  now  that  one  of 

*  Ger.,  blühend. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        149 

my  female  patients,  who  bears  the  pretty  name  of  Flora,  was 
for  a  time  the  main  subject  of  our  conversation.  It  must 
have  happened  that  I  completed  the  connection  between  the 
two  events  of  the  day,  the  indifferent  and  the  exciting  one,  by 
means  of  these  links  from  the  series  of  associations  belonging 
to  the  idea  of  botany.  Other  relations  are  then  established, 
that  of  cocaine,  which  can  with  perfect  correctness  form  a  go- 
between  connecting  the  person  of  Dr.  Koenigstein  with  the 
botanical  monograph  which  I  have  written,  and  strengthen 
the  fusion  of  the  two  series  of  associations  into  one,  so  that  now 
a  portion  of  the  first  experience  may  be  used  as  an  allusion  to 
the  second. 

I  am  prepared  to  find  this  explanation  attacked  as  arbitrary 
or  artificial.  What  would  have  happened  if  Professor  Gärtner 
and  his  blooming  wife  had  not  come  up,  and  if  the  patient 
who  was  talked  about  had  been  called,  not  Flora,  but  Anna  % 
The  answer  is  easy,  however.  If  these  thought-relations  had 
not  been  present,  others  would  probably  have  been  selected. 
It  is  so  easy  to  establish  relations  of  this  sort,  as  the  joking 
questions  and  conundrums  with  which  we  amuse  ourselves 
daily  suffice  to  show.  The  range  of  wit  is  unlimited.  To  go  a 
step  further  :  if  it  had  been  impossible  to  establish  inter- 
relations of  sufficient  abundance  between  the  two  impressions 
of  the  day,  the  dream  would  simply  have  resulted  differently ; 
another  of  the  indifferent  impressions  of  the  day,  such  as  come 
to  us  in  multitudes  and  are  forgotten,  would  have  taken  the 
place  of  the  monograph  in  the  dream,  would  have  secured  a 
connection  with  the  content  of  the  talk,  and  would  have  repre- 
sented it  in  the  dream.  Since  it  was  the  impression  of  the 
monograph  and  no  other  that  had  this  fate,  this  impression 
was  probably  the  most  suitable  for  the  establishment  of  the 
connection.  One  need  not  be  astonished,  like  Lessing's 
Hanschen  Schlau,  because  "  it  is  the  rich  people  of  the  world 
who  possess  the  most  money." 

Still  the  psychological  process  by  which,  according  to  our 
conception,  the  indifferent  experience  is  substituted  for  the 
psychologically  important  one,  seems  odd  to  us  and  open  to 
question.  In  a  later  chapter  we  shall  undertake  the  task  of 
making  this  seemingly  incorrect  operation  more  intelligible. 
We  are  here  concerned  only  with  consequences  of  this  pro- 


cedure,  whose  assumption  we  have  been  forced  to  make  by 
the  regularly  recurring  experiences  of  dream  analysis.  But 
the  process  seems  to  be  that,  in  the  course  of  those  inter- 
mediate steps,  a  displacement — let  us  say  of  the  psychic  accent 
— has  taken  place,  until  ideas  that  are  at  first  weakly  charged 
with  intensity,  by  taking  over  the  charge  from  ideas  which 
have  a  stronger  initial  intensity,  reach  a  degree  of  strength, 
which  enables  them  to  force  their  way  into  consciousness. 
Such  displacements  do  not  at  all  surprise  us  when  it  is  a 
question  of  the  bestowal  of  affects  or  of  the  motor  actions  in 
general.  The  fact  that  the  woman  who  has  remained  single 
transfers  her  affection  to  animals,  that  the  bachelor  becomes  a 
passionate  collector,  that  the  soldier  defends  a  scrap  of  coloured 
cloth,  his  flag,  with  his  life-blood,  that  in  a  love  affair  a  momen- 
tary clasping  of  hands  brings  bliss,  or  that  in  Othello  a 
lost  handkerchief  causes  a  burst  of  rage — all  these  are  examples 
of  psychic  displacement  which  seem  unquestionable  to  us. 
But  if,  in  the  same  manner  and  according  to  the  same  funda- 
mental principles,  a  decision  is  made  as  to  what  is  to  reach  our 
consciousness  and  what  is  to  be  withheld  from  it,  that  is  to 
say,  what  we  are  to  think — this  produces  an  impression  of 
morbidity,  and  we  call  it  an  error  of  thought  if  it  occurs  in 
waking  life.  We  may  here  anticipate  the  result  of  a  dis- 
cussion which  will  be  undertaken  later — namely,  to  the  effect 
that  the  psychic  process  which  we  have  recognised  as  dream 
displacement  proves  to  be  not  a  process  morbidly  disturbed, 
but  a  process  differing  from  the  normal  merely  in  being  of  a 
more  primitive  nature. 

We  thus  find  in  the  fact  that  the  dream  content  takes  up 
remnants  of  trivial  experiences  a  manifestation  of  dream 
disfigurement  (by  means  of  displacement),  and  we  may  recall 
that  we  have  recognised  this  dream  disfigurement  as  the  work 
of  a  censor  which  controls  the  passage  between  two  psychic 
instances.  We  accordingly  expect  that  dream  analysis  will 
regularly  reveal  to  us  the  genuine,  significant  source  of 
the  dream  in  the  life  of  the  day,  the  recollection  of  which  has 
transferred  its  accent  to  some  indifferent  recollection.  This 
conception  brings  us  into  complete  opposition  to  Robert's 55 
theory,  which  thus  becomes  valueless  for  us.  The  fact  which 
Robert  was  trying  to  explain  simply  doesn't  exist ;  its  assump- 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        151 

tion  is  based  upon  a  misunderstanding,  upon  the  failure  to 
substitute  the  real  meaning  of  the  dream  for  its  apparent 
content.  Further  objection  may  be  made  to  Robert's  doctrine  : 
If  it  were  really  the  duty  of  the  dream,  by  means  of  a  special 
psychic  activity,  to  rid  our  memory  of  the  "  slag  "  of  the  re- 
collections of  the  day,  our  sleep  would  have  to  be  more  troubled 
and  employed  in  a  more  strained  effort  than  we  may  suppose 
it  to  be  from  our  waking  life.  For  the  number  of  indifferent 
impressions  received  during  the  day,  against  which  we  should 
have  to  protect  our  memory,  is  obviously  infinitely  large  ;  the 
night  would  not  be  long  enough  to  accomplish  the  task.  It  is 
very  much  more  probable  that  the  forgetting  of  indifferent 
impressions  takes  place  without  any  active  interference  on  the 
part  of  our  psychic  powers. 

Still  something  cautions  us  against  taking  leave  of  Robert's 
idea  without  further  consideration.  We  have  left  unex- 
plained the  fact  that  one  of  the  indifferent  day-impressions — 
one  from  the  previous  day  indeed — regularly  furnished  a 
contribution  to  the  dream-content.  Relations  between  this 
impression  and  the  real  source  of  the  dream  do  not  always 
exist  from  the  beginning  ;  as  we  have  seen,  they  are  estab- 
lished only  subsequently,  in  the  course  of  the  dream-work, 
as  though  in  order  to  serve  the  purpose  of  the  intended  dis- 
placement. There  must,  therefore,  be  some  necessity  to  form 
connections  in  this  particular  direction,  of  the  recent,  although 
indifferent  impression  ;  the  latter  must  have  special  fitness 
for  this  purpose  because  of  some  property.  Otherwise  it 
would  be  just  as  easy  for  the  dream  thoughts  to  transfer  their 
accent  to  some  inessential  member  of  their  own  series  of 

The  following  experiences  will  lead  us  to  an  explanation. 
If  a  day  has  brought  two  or  more  experiences  which  are  fitted 
to  stimulate  a  dream,  then  the  dream  fuses  the  mention  of 
both  into  a  single  whole  ;  it  obeys  an  impulse  to  fashion  a  whole 
out  of  them  ;  for  instance  :  One  summer  afternoon  I  entered 
a  railroad  compartment,  in  which  I  met  two  friends  who  were 
unknown  to  each  other.  One  of  them  was  an  influential  col- 
league, the  other  a  member  of  a  distinguished  family,  whose 
physician  I  was  ;  I  made  the  two  gentlemen  acquainted  with 
each  other  ;    but  during  the  long  ride  I  was  the  go-between 


in  the  conversation,  so  that  I  had  to  treat  a  subject  of  con- 
versation now  with  the  one,  now  with  the  other.  I  asked 
my  colleague  to  recommend  a  common  friend  who  had  just 
begun  his  medical  practice.  He  answered  that  he  was  con- 
vinced of  the  young  man's  thoroughness,  but  that  his  plain 
appearance  would  make  his  entrance  into  households  of  rank 
difficult.  I  answered  :  "  That  is  just  why  he  needs  recom- 
mendation." Soon  afterwards  I  asked  the  other  fellow- 
traveller  about  the  health  of  his  aunt — the  mother  of  one  of 
my  patients — who  was  at  the  time  prostrated  by  a  serious 
illness.  During  the  night  after  this  journey  I  dreamt  that  the 
young  friend,  for  whom  I  had  asked  assistance,  was  in  a 
splendid  salon,  and  was  making  a  funeral  oration  to  a  select 
company  with  the  air  of  a  man  of  the  world — the  oration  being 
upon  the  old  lady  (now  dead  for  the  purposes  of  the  dream) 
who  was  the  aunt  of  the  second  fellow-traveller.  (I  confess 
frankly  that  I  had  not  been  on  good  terms  with  this  lady.) 
My  dream  had  thus  found  connections  between  the  two  im- 
pressions of  the  day,  and  by  means  of  them  composed  a  unified 

In  view  of  many  similar  experiences,  I  am  driven  to  conclude 
that  a  kind  of  compulsion  exists  for  the  dream  function, 
forcing  it  to  bring  together  in  the  dream  all  the  available 
sources  of  dream  stimulation  into  a  unified  whole.*  In  a 
subsequent  chapter  (on  the  dream  function)  we  shall  become 
acquainted  with  this  impulse  for  putting  together  as  a  part  of 
condensation  another  primary  psychic  process. 

I  shall  now  discuss  the  question  whether  the  source  from 
which  the  dream  originates,  and  to  which  our  analysis  leads, 
must  always  be  a  recent  (and  significant)  event,  or  whether 
a  subjective  experience,  that  is  to  say,  the  recollection  of  a 
psychologically  valuable  experience — a  chain  of  thought — can 
take  the  part  of  a  dream  stimulus.  The  answer,  which  results 
most  unequivocally  from  numerous  analyses,  is  to  the  following 
effect.  The  stimulus  for  the  dream  may  be  a  subjective 
occurrence,  which  has  been  made  recent,  as  it  were,  by  the 

*  The  tendency  of  the  dream  function  to  fuse  everything  of  interest 
which  is  present  into  simultaneous  treatment  has  already  heen  noticed  by 
several  authors,  for  instance,  by  Delage,16  p.  41,  Delbceuf,10  Rapprochement 
Forest  p.  23G. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        153 

mental  activity  during  the  day.     It  will  probably  not  be  out  of 
place  here  to  give  a  synopsis  of  various  conditions  which  may 
be  recognised  as  sources  of  dreams. 
The  source  of  a  dream  may  be  : 

(a)  A  recent  and  psychologically  significant  experience 
which  is  directly  represented  in  the  dream.* 

(b)  Several  recent,  significant  experiences,  which  are  united 
by  the  dream  into  a  whole. f 

(c)  One  or  more  recent  and  significant  experiences,  which 
are  represented  in  the  dream  by  the  mention  of  a  contem- 
porary but  indifferent  experience.  J 

(d)  A  subjective  significant  experience  (a  recollection,  train 
of  thought),  which  is  regularly  represented  in  the  dream  by  the 
mention  of  a  recent  but  indifferent  impression.  § 

As  may  be  seen,  in  dream  interpretation  the  condition  is 
firmly  adhered  to  throughout  that  each  component  of  the 
dream  repeats  a  recent  impression  of  the  day.  The  element 
which  is  destined  to  representation  in  the  dream  may  either 
belong  to  the  presentations  surrounding  the  actual  dream 
stimulus  itself — and,  furthermore,  either  as  an  essential  or  an 
inessential  element  of  the  same — or  it  may  originate  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  an  indifferent  impression,  which,  through 
associations  more  or  less  rich,  has  been  brought  into  relation 
with  the  thoughts  surrounding  the  dream  stimulus.  The 
apparent  multiplicity  of  the  conditions  here  is  produced  by 
the  alternative  according  to  whether  displacement  has  or  has  not 
taken  place,  and  we  may  note  that  this  alternative  serves 
to  explain  the  contrasts  of  the  dream  just  as  readily  as  the 
ascending  series  from  partially  awake  to  fully  awake  brain 
cells  in  the  medical  theory  of  the  dream  (c/.  p.  64). 

Concerning  this  series,  it  is  further  notable  that  the  element 
which  is  psychologically  valuable,  but  not  recent  (a  train  of 
thought,  a  recollection)  may  be  replaced,  for  the  purposes  of 
dream  formation,  by  a  recent,  but  psychologically  indifferent, 
element,  if  only  these  two  conditions  be  observed  :  1.  That 
the  dream  shall  contain  a  reference  to  something  which  has 

*  The  dream  of  Irma's  injection ;  the  dream  of  the  friend  who  is  my 

t  The  dream  of  the  funeral  oration  of  the  young  physician. 

%  The  dream  of  the  botanical  monograph. 

§  The  dreams  of  my  patients  during  analysis  are  mostly  of  this  kind. 


been  recently  experienced  ;  2.  That  the  dream  stimulus  shall 
remain  a  psychologically  valuable  train  of  thought.  In  a 
single  case  (a)  both  conditions  are  fulfilled  by  the  same  im- 
pression. If  it  be  added  that  the  same  indifferent  impressions 
which  are  used  for  the  dream,  as  long  as  they  are  recent,  lose 
this  availability  as  soon  as  they  become  a  day  (or  at  most 
several  days)  older,  the  assumption  must  be  made  that  the 
very  freshness  of  an  impression  gives  it  a  certain  psychological 
value  for  dream  formation,  which  is  somewhat  equivalent  to 
the  value  of  emotionally  accentuated  memories  or  trains  of 
thought.  We  shall  be  able  to  see  the  basis  of  this  value  of 
recent  impressions  for  dream  formation  only  with  the  help 
of  certain  psychological  considerations  which  will  appear 

Incidentally  our  attention  is  called  to  the  fact  that  im- 
portant changes  in  the  material  comprised  by  our  ideas  and 
our  memory  may  be  brought  about  unconsciously  and  at 
night.  The  injunction  that  one  should  sleep  for  a  night  upon 
any  affair  before  making  a  final  decision  about  it  is  obviously 
fully  justified.  But  we  see  that  at  this  point  we  have  pro- 
ceeded from  the  psychology  of  dreaming  to  that  of  sleep,  a 
step  for  which  there  will  often  be  occasion. 

Now  there  arises  an  objection  threatening  to  invalidate  the 
conclusions  we  have  just  reached.  If  indifferent  impressions 
oan  get  into  the  dream  only  in  case  they  are  recent,  how  does 
it  happen  that  we  find  also  in  the  dream  content  elements 
from  earlier  periods  in  our  fives,  which  at  the  time  when  they 
were  recent  possessed,  as  Strümpell  expresses  it,  no  psychic 
value,  which,  therefore,  ought  to  have  been  forgotten  long  ago, 
and  which,  therefore,  are  neither  fresh  nor  psychologically 
significant  ? 

This  objection  can  be  fully  met  if  we  rely  upon  the  results 
furnished  by  psychoanalysis  of  neurotics.  The  solution  is  as 
follows  :  The  process  of  displacement  which  substitutes  in- 
different material  for  that  having  psychic  significance  (for 
dreaming  as  well  as  for  thinking)  has  already  taken  place  in 
those  earlier  periods  of  life,  and  has  since  become  fixed  in  the 
memory.  Those  elements  which  were  originally  indifferent 
are  in  fact  no  longer  so,  since  they  have  acquired  the  value  of 
*  Of.  Chap.  VII.  upon  "  Transference." 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         155 

psychologically  significant  material.  That  which  has  actually 
remained  indifferent  can  never  be  reproduced  in  the  dream. 

It  will  be  correct  to  suppose  from  the  foregoing  discussion 
that  I  maintain  that  there  are  no  indifferent  dream  stimuli, 
and  that,  accordingly,  there  are  no  harmless  dreams.  This  I 
believe  to  be  the  case,  thoroughly  and  exclusively,  allowance 
being  made  for  the  dreams  of  children  and  perhaps  for  short 
dream  reactions  to  nocturnal  sensations.  Whatever  one  may 
dream,  it  is  either  manifestly  recognisable  as  psychically 
significant  or  it  is  disfigured,  and  can  be  judged  correctly  only 
after  a  complete  interpretation,  when,  as  before,  it  may  be 
recognised  as  possessing  psychic  significance.  The  dream 
never  concerns  itself  with  trifles  ;  we  do  not  allow  ourselves 
to  be  disturbed  in  our  sleep  by  matters  of  slight  importance. 
Dreams  which  are  apparently  harmless  turn  out  to  be  sinister 
if  one  takes  pains  to  interpret  them  ;  if  I  may  be  permitted 
the  expression,  they  all  have  "  the  mark  of  the  beast."  As  this 
is  another  point  on  which  I  may  expect  opposition,  and  as 
I  am  glad  of  an  opportunity  to  show  dream  -  disfigurement 
at  work,  I  shall  here  subject  a  number  of  dreams  from  my 
collection  to  analysis. 

1.  An  intelligent  and  refined  young  lady,  who,  however, 
in  conduct,  belongs  to  the  class  we  call  reserved,  to  the  "  still 
waters,"  relates  the  following  dream  : — 

Her  husband  asks  :  "  Should  not  the  piano  be  tuned  ?  " 
She  answers  :  "It  won't  pay  ;  the  hammers  would  have  to  be 
newly  buffed  too."  This  repeats  an  actual  event  of  the  previous 
day.  Her  husband  had  asked  such  a  question,  and  she  had 
answered  something  similar.  But  what  is  the  significance  of 
her  dreaming  it  1  She  tells  of  the  piano,  indeed,  that  it  is  a 
disgusting  old  box  which  has  a  bad  tone ;  it  is  one  of  the  tilings 
which  her  husband  had  before  they  were  married,*  &c,  but 
the  key  to  the  true  solution  lies  in  the  phrase  :  It  won't  pay. 
This  originated  in  a  visit  made  the  day  before  to  a  lady  friend. 
Here  she  was  asked  to  take  off  her  coat,  but  she  declined, 
saying,  "  It  won't  pay.  I  must  go  in  a  moment."  At  this 
point,  I  recall  that  during  yesterday's  analysis  she  suddenly 
took  hold  of  her  coat,  a  button  of  which  had  opened.     It  is, 

*  Substitution  of  the  opposite,  as  will  become  clear  to  us  after  inter- 


therefore,  as  if  she  had  said,  "  Please  don't  look  in  this  direc- 
tion ;  it  won't  pay."  Thus  "  box  "  develops  into  "  chest,"  or 
breast-box  ("  bust "),  and  the  interpretation  of  the  dream 
leads  directly  to  a  time  in  her  bodily  development  when  she 
was  dissatisfied  with  her  shape.  It  also  leads  to  earlier  periods, 
if  we  take  into  consideration  "  disgusting  "  and  "  bad  tone," 
and  remember  how  often  in  allusions  and  in  dreams  the  two 
small  hemispheres  of  the  feminine  body  take  the  place — as  a 
substitute  and  as  an  antithesis — of  the  large  ones. 

II.  I  may  interrupt  this  dream  to  insert  a  brief  harmless 
dream  of  a  young  man.  He  dreamt  that  he  was  putting  on  his 
winter  overcoat  again,  which  was  terrible.  The  occasion  for  this 
dream  is  apparently  the  cold  weather,  which  has  recently  set 
in  again.  On  more  careful  examination  we  note  that  the  two 
short  portions  of  the  dream  do  not  fit  together  well,  for  what 
is  there  "  terrible  "  about  wearing  a  heavy  or  thick  coat  in 
the  cold  ?  Unfortunately  for  the  harmlessness  of  this  dream, 
the  first  idea  educed  in  analysis  is  the  recollection  that  on  the 
previous  day  a  lady  had  secretly  admitted  to  him  that  her 
last  child  owed  its  existence  to  the  bursting  of  a  condom. 
He  now  reconstructs  his  thoughts  in  accordance  with  this 
suggestion  :  A  thin  condom  is  dangerous,  a  thick  one  is  bad. 
The  condom  is  an  "  overcoat  "  (Ueberzieher),  for  it  is  put  over 
something  ;  Ueberzieher  is  also  the  name  given  in  German  to  a 
thin  overcoat.  An  experience  like  the  one  related  by  the  lady 
would  indeed  be  "  terrible  "  for  an  unmarried  man. — We 
may  now  return-  to  our  other  harmless  dreamer. 

III.  She  puts  a  candle  into  a  candlestick  ;  but  the  candle  is 
broken,  so  that  it  does  not  stand  straight.  The  girls  at  school  say 
she  is  clumsy  ;  the  young  lady  replies  that  it  is  not  her  jault. 

Here,  too,  there  is  an  actual  occasion  for  the  dream  ;  the 
day  before  she  had  actually  put  a  candle  into  a  candlestick  ; 
but  this  one  was  not  broken.  A  transparent  symbolism  has 
been  employed  here.  The  candle  is  an  object  which  excites 
the  feminine  genitals  ;  its  being  broken,  so  that  it  does  not 
stand  straight,  signifies  impotence  on  the  man's  part  ("  it  is 
not  her  fault ").  But  does  this  young  woman,  carefully 
brought  up,  and  a  stranger  to  all  obscenity,  know  of  this 
application  of  the  candle  ?  She  happens  to  be  able  to  tell  how 
she  came  by  this  information.     While  riding  in  a  boat  on  the 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         157 

Rhine,  another  boat  passes  containing  students  who  are  singing 
or  rather  yelling,  with  great  delight  :  "  When  the  Queen  of 
Sweden  with  closed  shutters  and  the  candles  of  Apollo.   .   ." 

She  does  not  hear  or  understand  the  last  word.  Her 
husband  is  asked  to  give  her  the  required  explanation.  These 
verses  are  then  replaced  in  the  dream  content  by  the  harmless 
recollection  of  a  command  which  she  once  executed  clumsily 
at  a  girls'  boarding  school,  this  occurring  by  means  of  the 
common  features  closed  shutters.  The  connection  between  the 
theme  of  onanism  and  that  of  impotence  is  clear  enough. 
"  Apollo  "  in  the  latent  dream  content  connects  this  dream 
with  an  earlier  one  in  which  the  virgin  Pallas  figured.  All  this 
is  obviously  not  harmless. 

IV.  Lest  it  may  seem  too  easy  a  matter  to  draw  con- 
clusions from  dreams  concerning  the  dreamer's  real  circum- 
stances, I  add  another  dream  coming  from  the  same  person 
which  likewise  appears  harmless.  "  /  dreamt  of  doing  some- 
thing" she  relates,  "  which  I  actually  did  during  the  day,  that 
is  to  say,  I  filled  a  little  trunk  so  full  of  books  that  I  had  difficulty 
in  closing  it.  My  dream  was  just  like  the  actual  occurrence''' 
Here  the  person  relating  the  dream  herself  attaches  chief  im- 
portance to  the  correspondence  between  the  dream  and  reality. 
All  such  criticisms  upon  the  dream  and  remarks  about  it, 
although  they  have  secured  a  place  in  waking  thought,  re- 
gularly belong  to  the  latent  dream  content,  as  later  examples 
will  further  demonstrate  We  are  told,  then,  that  what  the 
dream  relates  has  actually  taken  place  during  the  day.  It 
would  take  us  too  far  afield  to  tell  how  we  reach  the  idea  of 
using  the  English  language  to  help  us  in  the  interpretation  of 
this  dream.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  it  is  again  a  question  of  a 
little  box  (cf.  p.  130,  the  dream  of  the  dead  child  in  the  box) 
which  has  been  filled  so  full  that  nothing  more  can  go  into  it. 
Nothing  in  the  least  sinister  this  time. 

In  all  these  "  harmless  "  dreams  the  sexual  factor  as  a 
motive  for  the  exercise  of  the  censor  receives  striking  pro- 
minence. But  this  is  a  matter  of  primary  importance,  which 
we  must  postpone. 

(b)  Infantile  Experiences  as  the  Source  of  Dreams 

As  the  third  of  the  peculiarities  of  the  dream  content,  we 


have  cited  from  all  the  authors  (except  Robert)  the  fact  that 
impressions  from  the  earliest  times  of  our  lives,  which  seem 
not  to  be  at  the  disposal  of  the  waking  memory,  may  appear 
in  the  dream.  It  is,  of  course,  difficult  to  judge  how  often  or 
how  seldom  this  occurs,  because  the  respective  elements  of  the 
dream  are  not  recognised  according  to  their  origin  after  waking. 
The  proof  that  we  are  dealing  with  childhood  impressions  must 
thus  be  reached  objectively,  and  the  conditions  necessary  for 
this  happen  to  coincide  only  in  rare  instances.  The  story  is 
told  by  A.  Maury,48  as  being  particularly  conclusive,  of  a  man 
who  decided  to  visit  his  birthplace  after  twenty  years'  absence. 
During  the  night  before  his  departure,  he  dreams  that  he  is  in 
an  altogether  strange  district,  and  that  he  there  meets  a  strange 
man  with  whom  he  has  a  conversation.  Having  afterward 
returned  to  his  home,  he  was  able  to  convince  himself  that 
this  strange  district  really  existed  in  the  neighbourhood  of  his 
home  town,  and  the  strange  man  in  the  dream  turned  out  to 
be  a  friend  of  his  dead  father  who  lived  there.  Doubtless,  a 
conclusive  proof  that  he  had  seen  both  the  man  and  the  dis- 
trict in  his  childhood.  The  dream,  moreover,  is  to  be  inter- 
preted as  a  dream  of  impatience,  like  that  of  the  girl  who 
carries  her  ticket  for  the  concert  of  the  evening  in  her  pocket 
(p.  110),  of  the  child  whose  father  had  promised  him  an  ex- 
cursion to  the  Hameau,  and  the  like.  The  motives  explaining 
why  just  this  impression  of  childhood  is  reproduced  for  the 
dreamer  cannot,  of  course,  be  discovered  without  an  analysis. 
One  of  the  attendants  at  my  lectures,  who  boasted  that  his 
dreams  were  very  rarely  subject  to  disfigurement,  told  me 
that  he  had  sometime  before  in  a  dream  seen  his  former  tutor 
in  bed  with  his  nurse,  who  had  been  in  the  household  until  he 
was  eleven  years  old.  The  location  of  this  scene  does  not 
occur  to  him  in  the  dream.  As  he  was  much  interested,  he 
told  the  dream  to  his  elder  brother,  who  laughingly  confirmed 
its  reality.  The  brother  said  he  remembered  the  affair  very 
well,  for  he  was  at  the  time  six  years  old.  The  lovers  were  in 
the  habit  of  making  him,  the  elder  boy,  drunk  with  beer, 
whenever  circumstances  were  favourable  for  nocturnal  re- 
lations. The  smaller  child,  at  that  time  three  years  old — our 
dreamer — who  slept  in  the  same  room  as  the  nurse,  was  not 
considered  an  obstacle. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         159 

In  still  another  case  it  may  be  definitely  ascertained,  without 
the  aid  of  dream  interpretation,  that  the  dream  contains 
elements  from  childhood  ;  that  is,  if  it  be  a  so-called  perennial 
dream,  which  being  first  dreamt  in  childhood,  later  appears 
again  and  again  after  adult  age  has  been  reached.  I  may  add 
a  few  examples  of  this  sort  to  those  already  familiar,  although 
I  have  never  made  the  acquaintance  of  such  a  perennial  dream 
in  my  own  case.  A  physician  in  the  thirties  tells  me  that  a 
yellow  lion,  about  which  he  can  give  the  most  detailed  in- 
formation, has  often  appeared  in  his  dream-life  from  the 
earliest  period  of  his  childhood  to  the  present  day.  This  lion, 
known  to  him  from  his  dreams,  was  one  day  discovered  in 
natura  as  a  long-forgotten  object  made  of  porcelain,  and  on 
that  occasion  the  young  man  learned  from  his  mother  that 
this  object  had  been  his  favourite  toy  in  early  childhood,  a  fact 
which  he  himself  could  no  longer  remember. 

If  we  now  turn  from  the  manifest  dream  content  to  the 
dream  thoughts  which  are  revealed  only  upon  analysis,  the 
co-operation  of  childhood  experiences  may  be  found  to  exist 
even  in  dreams  whose  content  would  not  have  led  us  to  suspect 
anything  of  the  sort.  I  owe  a  particularly  delightful  and 
instructive  example  of  such  a  dream  to  my  honoured  colleague 
of  the  "  yellow  hon."  After  reading  Nansen's  account  of  his 
polar  expedition,  he  dreamt  that  he  was  giving  the  bold  ex- 
plorer electrical  treatment  in  an  ice  field  for  an  ischaemia  of 
which  the  latter  complained  !  In  the  analysis  of  this  dream, 
he  remembered  a  story  of  his  childhood,  without  which  the 
dream  remains  entirely  unintelligible.  When  he  was  a  child, 
three  or  four  years  old,  he  was  listening  attentively  to  a  con- 
versation of  older  people  about  trips  of  exploration,  and 
presently  asked  papa  whether  exploration  was  a  severe  illness. 
He  had  apparently  confused  "  trips  "  with  "  rips,"  and  the 
ridicule  of  his  brothers  and  sisters  prevented  his  ever  forgetting 
the  humiliating  experience. 

The  case  is  quite  similar  when,  in  the  analysis  of  the  dream 
of  the  monograph  on  the  genus  cyclamen,  I  happen  upon  the 
recollection,  retained  from  childhood,  that  my  father  allowed 
me  to  destroy  a  book  embellished  with  coloured  plates  when  I 
was  a  little  boy  five  years  old.  It  will  perhaps  be  doubted 
whether  this  recollection  actually  took  part  in  the  composition 


of  the  dream  content,  and  it  will  be  intimated  that  the  process 
of  analysis  has  subsequently  established  the  connection.  But 
the  abundance  and  intricacy  of  the  ties  of  association  vouch 
for  the  truth  of  my  explanation  :  cyclamen — favourite  flower 
— favourite  dish — artichoke  ;  to  pick  to  pieces  like  an  arti- 
choke, leaf  by  leaf  (a  phrase  which  at  that  time  rang  in  our 
ears  ä  propos  of  the  dividing  up  of  the  Chinese  Empire) — 
herbarium — bookworm,  whose  favourite  dish  is  books.  I  may 
state  further  that  the  final  meaning  of  the  dream,  which  I 
have  not  given  here,  has  the  most  intimate  connection  with 
the  content  of  the  childhood  scene. 

In  another  series  of  dreams  we  learn  from  analysis  that  the 
wish  itself,  which  has  given  rise  to  the  dream,  and  whose 
fulfilment  the  dream  turns  out  to  be,  has  originated  in  child- 
hood— until  one  is  astonished  to  find  that  the  child  with  all  its 
impulses  lives  on  in  the  dream. 

I  shall  now  continue  the  interpretation  of  a  dream  which  has 
already  proved  instructive — I  refer  to  the  dream  in  which 
friend  R.  is  my  uncle  (p.  116).  We  have  carried  its  interpreta- 
tion far  enough  for  the  wish-motive,  of  being  appointed  pro- 
fessor, to  assert  itself  tangibly  ;  and  we  have  explained  the 
affection  displayed  in  the  dream  for  friend  R.  as  a  fiction  of 
opposition  and  spite  against  the  aspersion  of  the  two  col- 
leagues, who  appear  in  the  dream  thoughts.  The  dream  was 
my  own  ;  I  may,  therefore,  continue  the  analysis  by  stating 
that  my  feelings  were  not  quite  satisfied  by  the  solution 
reached.  I  know  that  my  opinion  of  these  colleagues  who  are 
so  badly  treated  in  the  dream  thoughts  would  have  been 
expressed  in  quite  different  terms  in  waking  life  ;  the  potency 
of  the  wish  not  to  share  their  fate  in  the  matter  of  appoint- 
ment seemed  to  me  too  slight  to  account  for  the  discrepancy 
between  my  estimate  in  the  dream  and  that  of  waking.  If 
my  desire  to  be  addressed  by  a  new  title  proves  so  strong  it 
gives  proof  of  a  morbid  ambition,  which  I  did  not  know  to 
exist  in  me,  and  which  I  believe  is  far  from  my  thoughts.  I 
do  not  know  how  others,  who  think  they  know  me,  would 
judge  me,  for  perhaps  I  have  really  been  ambitious  ;  but  if 
this  be  true,  my  ambition  has  long  since  transferred  itself  to 
other  objects  than  the  title  and  rank  of  assistant-professor. 

Whence,  then,  the  ambition  which  the  dream  has  ascribed 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         161 

to  me  ?  Here  I  remember  a  story  which  I  heard  often  in  my 
childhood,  that  at  my  birth  an  old  peasant's  wife  had  pro- 
phesied to  my  happy  mother  (I  was  her  first-born)  that  she  had 
given  to  the  world  a  great  man.  Such  prophecies  must  occur 
very  frequently  ;  there  are  so  many  mothers  happy  in  ex- 
pectation, and  so  many  old  peasant  wives  whose  influence  on 
earth  has  waned,  and  who  have  therefore  turned  their  eyes 
towards  the  future.  The  prophetess  was  not  likely  to  suffer 
for  it  either.  Might  my  hunger  for  greatness  have  originated 
from  this  source  ?  But  here  I  recollect  an  impression  from  the 
later  years  of  my  childhood,  which  would  serve  still  better  as 
an  explanation.  It  was  of  an  evening  at  an  inn  on  the  Prater,* 
where  my  parents  were  accustomed  to  take  me  when  I  was 
eleven  or  twelve  years  old.  We  noticed  a  man  who  went 
from  table  to  table  and  improvised  verses  upon  any  subject 
that  was  given  to  him.  I  was  sent  to  bring  the  poet  to  our 
table  and  he  showed  himself  thankful  for  the  message.  Before 
asking  for  his  subject  he  threw  off  a  few  rhymes  about  me,  and 
declared  it  probable,  if  he  could  trust  his  inspiration,  that  I 
would  one  day  become  a  "  minister."  I  can  still  distinctly 
remember  the  impression  made  by  this  second  prophecy.  It 
was  at  the  time  of  the  election  for  the  municipal  ministry  ;  my 
father  had  recently  brought  home  pictures  of  those  elected  to 
the  ministry — Herbst,  Giskra,  Unger,  Berger,  and  others — 
and  we  had  illuminated  them  in  honour  of  these  gentlemen. 
There  were  even  some  Jews  among  them  ;  every  industrious 
Jewish  schoolboy  therefore  had  the  making  of  a  minister  in 
him.  Even  the  fact  that  until  shortly  before  my  enrolment 
in  the  University  I  wanted  to  study  jurisprudence,  and  changed 
my  plans  only  at  the  last  moment,  must  be  connected  with  the 
impressions  of  that  time.  A  minister's  career  is  under  no 
circumstances  open  to  a  medical  man.  And  now  for  my 
dream  !  I  begin  to  see  that  it  transplants  me  from  the  sombre 
present  to  the  hopeful  time  of  the  municipal  election,  and 
fulfils  my  wish  of  that  time  to  the  fullest  extent.  In  treating 
my  two  estimable  and  learned  colleagues  so  badly,  because 
they  are  Jews,  the  one  as  a  simpleton  and  the  other  as  a 
criminal — in  doing  this  I  act  as  though  I  were  the  minister  of 
education,  I  put  myself  in  his  place.  What  thorough  revenge 
*  The  Prater  is  the  principal  drive  of  Vienna.     (Transl.) 



I  take  upon  his  Excellency  !  He  refuses  to  appoint  me  pro- 
fessor extraordinarius,  and  in  return  I  put  myself  in  his  place 
in  the  dream. 

Another  case  establishes  the  fact  that  although  the  wish 
which  actuates  the  dream  is  a  present  one,  it  nevertheless  draws 
great  intensification  from  childhood  memories.  I  refer  to  a 
series  of  dreams  which  are  based  upon  the  longing  to  go  to 
Rome.  I  suppose  I  shall  still  have  to  satisfy  this  longing  by 
means  of  dreams  for  a  long  time  to  come,  because,  at  the  time 
of  year  which  is  at  my  disposal  for  travelling,  a  stay  at  Rome 
is  to  be  avoided  on  account  of  considerations  of  health.* 
Thus  I  once  dreamt  of  seeing  the  Tiber  and  the  bridge  of  St. 
Angelo  from  the  window  of  a  railroad  compartment ;  then 
the  train  starts,  and  it  occurs  to  me  that  I  have  never  entered 
the  city  at  all.  The  view  which  I  saw  in  the  dream  was  modelled 
after  an  engraving  which  I  had  noticed  in  passing  the  day 
before  in  the  parlour  of  one  of  my  patients.  On  another 
occasion  some  one  is  leading  me  upon  a  hill  and  showing  me 
Rome  half  enveloped  in  mist,  and  so  far  in  the  distance  that 
I  am  astonished  at  the  distinctness  of  the  view.  The  content 
of  this  dream  is  too  rich  to  be  fully  reported  here.  The  motive, 
"  to  see  the  promised  land  from  afar,"  is  easily  recognisable  in 
it.  The  city  is  Lübeck,  which  I  first  saw  in  the  mist ;  the 
original  of  the  hill  is  the  Gleichenberg.  In  a  third  dream,  I  am 
at  last  in  Rome,  as  the  dream  tells  me.  To  my  disappointment, 
the  scenery  which  I  see  is  anything  but  urban.  A  little  river 
with  black  water,  on  one  side  of  which  are  black  rocks,  on  the 
other  large  white  flowers.  I  notice  a  certain  Mr.  Zucker  (with 
whom  I  am  superficially  acquainted),  and  make  up  my  mind 
to  ask  him  to  show  me  the  ivay  into  the  city.  It  is  apparent  that 
I  am  trying  in  vain  to  see  a  city  in  the  dream  which  I  have 
never  seen  in  waking  life.  If  I  resolve  the  landscape  into  its 
elements,  the  white  flowers  indicate  Ravenna,  which  is  known 
to  me,  and  which,  for  a  time  at  least,  deprived  Rome  of  its 
leading  place  as  capital  of  Italy.  In  the  swamps  around 
Ravenna  we  had  seen  the  most  beautiful  water-lilies  in  the 
middle  of  black  pools  of  water  ;  the  dream  makes  them  grow 
on  meadows,  like  the  narcissi  of  our  own  Aussee,  because  at 

*  I  have  lon<<  since  learned  that  it  only  requires  a  little  courage  to  fulfil 
even  such  unattainable  wishes. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF    DREAMS         163 

Ravenna  it  was  such  tedious  work  to  fetch  them  out  of  the 
water.  The  black  rock,  so  close  to  the  water,  vividly  recalls 
the  valley  of  the  Tepl  at  Karlsbad.  "  Karlsbad  "  now  enables 
me  to  account  for  the  peculiar  circumstance  that  I  ask  Mr. 
Zucker  the  way.  In  the  material  of  which  the  dream  is  com- 
posed appear  also  two  of  those  amusing  Jewish  anecdotes, 
which  conceal  so  much  profound  and  often  bitter  worldly 
wisdom,  and  which  we  are  so  fond  of  quoting  in  our  conversa- 
tion and  letters.  One  is  the  story  of  the  "  constitution,"  and 
tells  how  a  poor  Jew  sneaks  into  the  express  train  for  Karlsbad 
without  a  ticket,  how  he  is  caught  and  is  treated  more  and 
more  unkindly  at  each  call  for  tickets  by  the  conductor,  and 
how  he  tells  a  friend,  whom  he  meets  at  one  of  the  stations 
during  his  miserable  journey,  and  who  asks  him  where  he  is 
travelling  :  "  To  Karlsbad,  if  my  constitution  will  stand  it." 
Associated  with  this  in  memory  is  another  story  about  a  Jew 
who  is  ignorant  of  French,  and  who  has  express  instructions  to 
ask  in  Paris  for  the  way  to  the  Rue  Richelieu.  Paris  was  for 
many  years  the  object  of  my  own  longing,  and  I  took  the  great 
satisfaction  with  which  I  first  set  foot  on  the  pavement  in 
Paris  as  a  warrant  that  I  should  also  attain  the  fulfilment  of 
other  wishes.  Asking  for  the  way  is  again  a  direct  allusion 
to  Rome,  for  of  course  all  roads  lead  to  Rome.  Moreover, 
the  name  Zucker  (English,  sugar)  again  points  to  Karlsbad, 
whither  we  send  all  persons  afflicted  with  the  constitutional 
disease,  diabetes  (Zuckerkrankheit,  sugar-disease).  The  oc- 
casion for  this  dream  was  the  proposal  of  my  Berlin  friend 
that  we  should  meet  in  Prague  at  Easter.  A  further  allusion 
to  sugar  and  diabetes  was  to  be  found  in  the  matters  which  I 
had  to  talk  over  with  him. 

A  fourth  dream,  occurring  shortly  after  the  last  one  men- 
tioned, brings  me  back  to  Rome.  I  see  a  street-corner  before 
me  and  am  astonished  to  see  so  many  German  placards  posted 
there.  On  the  day  before  I  had  written  my  friend  with 
prophetic  vision  that  Prague  would  probably  not  be  a  comfort- 
able resort  for  German  travellers.  The  dream,  therefore, 
simultaneously  expressed  the  wish  to  meet  him  at  Rome 
instead  of  at  the  Bohemian  city,  and  a  desire,  which  probably 
originated  during  my  student  days,  that  the  German  language 
might  be  accorded  more  tolerance  in  Prague.     Besides  I  must 


have  understood  the  Czech  language  in  the  first  three  years  of 
my  childhood,  because  I  was  born  in  a  small  village  of  Moravia, 
inhabited  by  Slavs.  A  Czech  nursery  rhyme,  which  I  heard 
in  my  seventeenth  year,  became,  without  effort  on  my  part,  so 
imprinted  upon  my  memory  that  I  can  repeat  it  to  this  day, 
although  I  have  no  idea  of  its  meaning.  There  is  then  no  lack 
in  these  dreams  also  of  manifold  relations  to  impressions  from 
the  first  years  of  my  life. 

It  was  during  my  last  journey  to  Italy,  which,  among  other 
places,  took  me  past  Lake  Trasimenus,  that  I  at  last  found 
what  re-enforcement  my  longing  for  the  Eternal  City  had 
received  from  the  impressions  of  my  youth  ;  this  was  after  I 
had  seen  the  Tiber,  and  had  turned  back  with  painful  emotions 
when  I  was  within  eighty  kilometers  of  Rome.  I  was  just 
broaching  the  plan  of  travelling  to  Naples  via  Rome  the  next 
year,  when  this  sentence,  which  I  must  have  read  in  one  of 
our  classical  authors,  occurred  to  me  :  "  It  is  a  question  which 
of  the  two  paced  up  and  down  in  his  room  the  more  im- 
patiently after  he  had  made  the  plan  to  go  to  Rome — Assistant- 
Headmaster  Winckelman  or  the  great  general  Hannibal."  I 
myself  had  walked  in  Hannibal's  footsteps  ;  like  him  I  was 
destined  never  to  see  Rome,  and  he  too  had  gone  to  Campania 
after  the  whole  world  had  expected  him  in  Rome.  Hannibal, 
with  whom  I  had  reached  this  point  of  similarity,  had  been 
my  favourite  hero  during  my  years  at  the  Gymnasium  ;  like  so 
many  boys  of  my  age,  I  bestowed  my  sympathies  during  the 
Punic  war,  not  on  the  Romans,  but  on  the  Carthaginians. 
Then,  when  I  came  finally  to  understand  the  consequences  of 
belonging  to  an  alien  race,  and  was  forced  by  the  anti-semitic 
sentiment  among  my  class-mates  to  assume  a  definite  attitude, 
the  figure  of  the  Semitic  commander  assumed  still  greater  pro- 
portions in  my  eyes.  Hannibal  and  Rome  symbolised  for  me 
as  a  youth  the  antithesis  between  the  tenaciousness  of  the 
Jews  and  the  organisation  of  the  Catholic  Church.  The  signi- 
ficance for  our  emotional  life  which  the  anti-semitic  movement 
has  since  assumed  helped  to  fix  the  thoughts  and  impressions 
of  that  earlier  time.  Thus  the  wish  to  get  to  Rome  has  become 
the  cover  and  symbol  in  my  dream-life  for  several  warmly 
cherished  wishes,  for  the  realisation  of  which  one  might  work 
with   the  perseverance  and    single-mindedness   of   the   Punic 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        165 

general,  and  whose  fulfilment  sometimes  seems  as  little 
favoured  by  fortune  as  the  wish  of  Hannibal's  life  to  enter 

And  now  for  the  first  time  I  happen  upon  the  youthful 
experience  which,  even  to-day,  still  manifests  its  power  in  all 
these  emotions  and  dreams.  I  may  have  been  ten  or  twelve 
years  old  when  my  father  began  to  take  me  with  him  on  his 
walks,  and  to  reveal  to  me  his  views  about  the  things  of  this 
world  in  his  conversation.  In  this  way  he  once  told  me,  in 
order  to  show  into  how  much  better  times  I  had  been  born 
than  he,  the  following  :  "  While  I  was  a  young  man,  I  was 
walking  one  Saturday  on  a  street  in  the  village  where  you 
were  born  ;  I  was  handsomely  dressed  and  wore  a  new  fur 
cap.  Along  comes  a  Christian,  who  knocks  my  cap  into  the 
mud  with  one  blow  and  shouts  :  "  Jew,  get  off  the  sidewalk." 
"  And  what  did  you  do  ?  "  "I  went  into  the  street  and  picked 
up  the  cap,"  was  the  calm  answer.  That  did  not  seem  heroic 
on  the  part  of  the  big  strong  man,  who  was  leading  me,  a 
little  fellow,  by  the  hand.  I  contrasted  this  situation,  which 
did  not  please  me,  with  another  more  in  harmony  with  my 
feelings — the  scene  in  which  Hannibal's  father,  Hamilcar  * 
Barka  made  his  boy  swear  at  the  domestic  altar  to  take 
vengeance  on  the  Romans.  Since  that  time  Hannibal  has 
had  a  place  in  my  phantasies. 

I  think  I  can  follow  my  enthusiasm  for  the  Carthaginian 
general  still  further  back  into  my  childhood,  so  that  possibly 
we  have  here  the  transference  of  an  already  formed  emotional 
relation  to  a  new  vehicle.  One  of  the  first  books  which  fell 
into  my  childish  hands,  after  I  learned  to  read,  was  Thiers' 
Konsulat  und  Kaiserreich  (Consulship  and  Empire)  ;  I  re- 
member I  pasted  on  the  flat  backs  of  my  wooden  soldiers  little 
labels  with  the  names  of  the  Imperial  marshals,  and  that  at 
that  time  Massena  (as  a  Jew  Menasse)  was  already  my  avowed 
favourite.  Napoleon  himself  follows  Hannibal  in  crossing  the 
Alps.  And  perhaps  the  development  of  this  martial  ideal 
can  be  traced  still  further  back  into  my  childhood,  to  the  wish 
which  the  now  friendly,  now  hostile,  intercourse  during  my 

*  In  the  first  edition  there  was  printed  here  the  name  Hasdrubal,  a  con- 
fusing error,  the  explanation  of  which  I  have  given  in  my  Psychopathologie 
des  Alltagalebens. 


first  three  years  with  a  boy  a  year  older  than  myself  must 
have  actuated,  in  the  weaker  of  the  two  playmates. 

The  deeper  one  goes  in  the  analysis  of  dreams,  the  more 
often  one  is  put  on  the  track  of  childish  experiences  which 
play  the  part  of  dream  sources  in  the  latent  dream 

We  have  learned  (p.  16)  that  the  dream  very  rarely  repro- 
duces experiences  in  such  a  manner  that  they  constitute  the 
sole  manifest  dream  content,  unabridged  and  unchanged. 
Still  some  authentic  examples  showing  this  process  have  been 
reported,  and  I  can  add  some  new  ones  which  again  refer  to 
infantile  scenes.  In  the  case  of  one  of  my  patients,  a  dream 
once  gave  a  barely  disfigured  reproduction  of  a  sexual  occur- 
rence, which  was  immediately  recognised  as  an  accurate 
recollection.  The  memory  of  it  indeed  had  never  been  lost 
in  waking  life,  but  it  had  been  greatly  obscured,  and  its  revivi- 
fication was  a  result  of  the  preceding  work  of  analysis.  The 
dreamer  had  at  the  age  of  twelve  visited  a  bed-ridden  school- 
mate, who  had  exposed  himself  by  a  movement  in  bed,  pro- 
bably only  by  chance.  At  the  sight  of  the  genitals,  he  was 
seized  by  a  kind  of  compulsion,  exposed  himself  and  took  hold 
of  the  member  belonging  to  the  other  boy,  who,  however, 
looked  at  him  with  surprise  and  indignation,  whereupon  he 
became  embarrassed  and  let  go.  A  dream  repeated  this  scene 
twenty-three  years  later,  with  all  the  details  of  the  emotions 
occurring  in  it,  changing  it,  however,  in  this  respect,  that  the 
dreamer  took  the  passive  part  instead  of  the  active  one, 
while  the  person  of  the  school-mate  was  replaced  by  one 
belonging  to  the  present. 

As  a  rule,  of  course,  a  childhood  scene  is  represented  in  the 
manifest  dream  content  only  by  an  allusion,  and  must  be 
extricated  from  the  dream  by  means  of  interpretation.  The 
citation  of  examples  of  this  kind  cannot  have  a  very  con- 
vincing effect,  because  every  guarantee  that  they  are  experi- 
ences of  childhood  is  lacking  ;  if  they  belong  to  an  earlier 
time  of  life,  they  are  no  longer  recognised  by  our  memory. 
Justification  for  the  conclusion  that  such  childish  experiences 
generally  exist  in  dreams  is  based  upon  a  great  number  of 
factors  which  become  apparent  t  in  psychoanalytical  work,  and 
which  seem  reliable  enough  when  regarded  as  a  whole.     But 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        167 

when,  for  the  purposes  of  dream  interpretation,  such  re- 
ferences of  dreams  to  childish  experiences  are  torn  from 
their  context,  they  will  perhaps  not  make  much  impression, 
especially  since  I  never  give  all  the  material  upon  which  the 
interpretation  depends.  However,  I  shall  not  let  this  prevent 
me  from  giving  some  examples. 

I.  The  following  dream  is  from  another  female  patient  : 
She  is  in  a  large  room,  in  which  there  are  all  kinds  of  machines, 
perhaps,  as  she  imagines,  an  orthopcedic  institute.  She  hears 
that  I  have  no  time,  and  that  she  must  take  the  treatment  along 
with  five  others.  But  she  resists,  and  is  unwilling  to  lie  down  on 
the  bed — or  whatever  it  is — which  is  intended  for  her.  She  stands 
in  a  corner  and  waits  for  me  to  say  "  It  is  not  true."  The  others, 
meanwhile,  laugh  at  her,  saying  it  is  all  foolishness  on  her  part. 
At  the  same  time  it  is  as  if  she  were  called  upon  to  make  many 
small  squares. 

The  first  part  of  the  content  of  this  dream  is  an  allusion  to 
the  treatment  and  a  transference  on  me.  The  second  contains 
an  allusion  to  a  childhood  scene  ;  the  two  portions  are  con- 
nected by  the  mention  of  the  bed.  The  orthopaedic  institute 
refers  to  one  of  my  talks  in  which  I  compared  the  treatment 
as  to  its  duration  and  nature  with  an  orthopaedic  treatment. 
At  the  beginning  of  the  treatment  I  had  to  tell  her  that  for 
the  present  I  had  little  time  for  her,  but  that  later  on  I  would 
devote  a  whole  hour  to  her  daily.  This  aroused  in  her  the 
old  sensitiveness,  which  is  the  chief  characteristic  of  children 
who  are  to  be  hysterical.  Their  desire  for  love  is  insatiable. 
My  patient  was  the  youngest  of  six  brothers  and  sisters  (hence, 
"  with  five  others  "),  and  as  such  the  favourite  of  her  father, 
but  in  spite  of  that  she  seems  to  have  found  that  her  beloved 
father  devoted  too  little  time  and  attention  to  her.  The  detail 
of  her  waiting  for  me  to  say  "  It  is  not  true,"  has  the  following 
explanation  :  A  tailor's  apprentice  had  brought  her  a  dress, 
and  she  had  given  him  the  money  for  it.  Then  she  asked  her 
husband  whether  she  would  have  to  pay  the  money  again  if 
the  boy  were  to  lose  it.  To  tease  her,  her  husband  answered 
''  Yes  "  (the  teasing  in  the  dream),  and  she  asked  again  and 
again,  and  waited  for  him  to  say  "  It  is  not  true."  The  thought 
of  the  latent  dream-content  may  now  be  construed  as  follows  : 
Will  she  have  to  pay  me  the  double  amount  if  I  devote  twice 


the  time  to  her  ?  a  thought  which  is  stingy  or  filthy.  (The 
uncleanliness  of  childhood  is  often  replaced  in  the  dream  by 
greediness  for  money ;  the  word  filthy  here  supplies  the 
bridge.)  If  all  that  about  waiting  until  I  should  say,  &c, 
serves  as  a  dream  circumlocution  for  the  word  "  filthy,"  the 
standing-in-a-corner  and  not  lying  down-on-the-bed  are  in 
keeping  ;  for  these  two  features  are  component  parts  of  a 
scene  of  childhood,  in  which  she  had  soiled  her  bed,  and  for 
punishment  was  put  into  a  corner,  with  the  warning  that  papa 
would  not  love  her  any  more,  and  her  brothers  and  sisters 
laughed  at  her,  &c.  The  little  squares  refer  to  her  young 
niece,  who  has  shown  her  the  arithmetical  trick  of  writing 
figures  in  nine  squares,  I  believe  it  is,  in  such  a  way  that 
upon  being  added  together  in  any  direction  they  make 

II.  Here  is  the  dream  of  a  man  :  He  sees  two  boys  tussling 
with  each  other,  and  they  are  cooper's  boys,  as  he  concludes  from 
the  implements  which  are  lying  about ;  one  of  the  boys  has  thrown 
the  other  down,  the  prostrate  one  wears  ear-rings  with  blue  stones. 
He  hurries  after  the  wrongdoer  with  lifted  cane,  in  order  to 
chastise  him.  The  latter  takes  refuge  with  a  woman  who  is 
standing  against  a  wooden  fence,  as  though  it  were  his  mother. 
She  is  the  wife  of  a  day  labourer,  and  she  turns  her  back  to  the 
man  who  is  dreaming.  At  last  she  faces  about  and  stares  at  him 
with  a  horrible  look,  so  that  he  runs  away  in  fright ;  in  her  eyes 
the  red  flesh  of  the  lower  lid  seems  to  stand  out. 

The  dream  has  made  abundant  use  of  trivial  occurrences 
of  the  previous  day.  The  day  before  he  actually  saw  two  boys 
on  the  street,  one  of  whom  threw  the  other  one  down.  When 
he  hurried  up  to  them  in  order  to  settle  the  quarrel,  both  of 
them  took  flight.  Coopers'  boys  :  this  is  explained  only  by  a 
subsequent  dream,  in  the  analysis  of  which  he  used  the  ex- 
pression, "  To  knock  the  bottom  out  of  the  barrel."  Ear-rings 
with  blue  stones,  according  to  his  observation,  are  chiefly 
worn  by  prostitutes.  Furthermore,  a  familiar  doggerel  rhyme 
about  two  boys  comes  up  :  "  The  other  boy,  his  name  was 
Mary  "  (that  is,  he  was  a  girl).  The  woman  standing  up  : 
after  the  scene  with  the  two  boys,  he  took  a  walk  on  the 
bank  of  the  Danube,  and  took  advantage  of  being  alone 
to    urinate    against  a    wooden   fence.      A    little    later    during 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS         169 

his  walk,  a  decently  dressed  elderly  lady  smiled  at  him 
very  pleasantly,  and  wanted  to  hand  him  her  card  with 
her  address. 

Since  in  the  dream  the  woman  stood  as  he  had  while 
urinating,  it  is  a  question  of  a  woman  urinating,  and  this 
explains  the  "  horrible  look,"  and  the  prominence  of  the  red 
flesh,  which  can  only  refer  to  the  genitals  which  gap  in  squat- 
ting. He  had  seen  genitals  in  his  childhood,  and  they  had 
appeared  in  later  recollection  as  "  proud  flesh "  and  as 
"  wound."  The  dream  unites  two  occasions  upon  which,  as 
a  young  boy,  the  dreamer  had  had  opportunity  to  see  the 
genitals  of  little  girls,  in  throwing  one  down,  and  while  another 
was  urinating  ;  and,  as  is  shown  by  another  association,  he 
had  kept  in  memory  a  punishment  or  threat  of  his  father's, 
called  forth  by  the  sexual  curiosity  which  the  boy  manifested 
on  these  occasions. 

III.  A  great  mass  of  childish  memories,  which  have  been 
hastily  united  in  a  phantasy,  is  to  be  found  behind  the  follow- 
ing dream  of  a  young  lady. 

She  goes  out  in  trepidation,  in  order  to  do  some  shopping. 
On  the  Graben  *  she  sinks  to  her  knees  as  though  broken  down. 
Many  people  collect  around  her,  especially  the  hackney-coach 
drivers ;  but  no  one  helps  her  to  get  up.  She  makes  many  un- 
availing attempts ;  finally  she  must  have  succeeded,  for  she  is 
put  into  a  hackney-coach  which  is  to  take  her  home.  A  large, 
heavily  laden  basket  (something  like  a  market-basket)  is  thrown 
after  her  through  the  window. 

This  is  the  same  woman  who  is  always  harassed  in  her 
dreams  as  she  was  harassed  when  a  child.  The  first  situation 
of  the  dream  is  apparently  taken  from  seeing  a  horse  that 
had  fallen,  just  as  "  broken  down "  points  to  horse-racing. 
She  was  a  rider  in  her  early  years,  still  earlier  she  was  probably 
also  a  horse.  Her  first  childish  memory  of  the  seventeen- 
year-old  son  of  the  porter,  who,  being  seized  on  the  street  by 
an  epileptic  fit,  was  brought  home  in  a  coach,  is  connected 
with  the  idea  of  falling  down.  Of  this,  of  course,  she  has  only 
heard,  but  the  idea  of  epileptic  fits  and  of  falling  down  has 
obtained  great  power  over  her  phantasies,  and  has  later  in- 
fluenced the  form  of  her  own  hysterical  attacks.  When  a 
*  A  street  in  Vienna. 


person  of  the  female  sex  dreams  of  falling,  this  almost  re- 
gularly has  a  sexual  significance ;  she  becomes  a  "  fallen 
woman,"  and  for  the  purpose  of  the  dream  under  considera- 
tion this  interpretation  is  probably  the  least  doubtful,  for  she 
falls  on  the  Graben,  the  place  in  Vienna  which  is  known  as 
the  concourse  of  prostitutes.  The  market-basket  admits  of 
more  than  one  interpretation  ;  in  the  sense  of  refusal  (German, 
Korb  —  basket — snub,  refusal),  she  remembers  the  many  snubs 
which  she  first  gave  her  suitors,  and  which  she  later,  as  she 
thinks,  received  herself.  Here  belongs  also  the  detail  that 
no  one  will  help  her  up,  which  she  herself  interprets  as  being 
disdained.  Furthermore,  the  market-basket  recalls  phantasies 
that  have  already  appeared  in  the  course  of  analysis,  in  which 
she  imagines  she  has  married  far  beneath  her  station,  and 
now  goes  marketing  herself.  But  lastly  the  market-basket 
might  be  interpreted  as  the  mark  of  a  servant.  This  suggests 
further  childhood  memories — of  a  cook  who  was  sent  away 
because  she  stole  ;  she,  too,  sank  to  her  knees  and  begged  for 
mercy.  The  dreamer  was  at  that  time  twelve  years  old. 
Then  there  is  a  recollection  of  a  chamber-maid,  who  was 
dismissed  because  she  had  an  affair  with  the  coachman  of 
the  household,  who,  incidently,  married  her  afterwards. 
This  recollection,  therefore,  gives  us  a  clue  to  the  coachman 
in  the  dream  (who  do  not,  in  contrast  with  what  is  actually 
the  case,  take  the  part  of  the  fallen  woman).  But  there  still 
remains  to  be  explained  the  throwing  of  the  basket,  and  the 
throwing  of  it  through  the  window.  This  takes  her  to  the 
transference  of  baggage  on  the  railroad,  to  the  Fensterln* 
in  the  country,  and  to  minor  impressions  received  at  a  country 
resort,  of  a  gentleman  throwing  some  blue  plums  to  a  lady 
through  her  window,  and  of  the  dreamer's  little  sister  being 
frightened  because  a  cretin  who  was  passing  looked  in  at  the 
window.  And  now  from  behind  this  there  emerges  an  obscure 
recollection,  from  her  tenth  year,  of  a  nurse  who  made  love  at 
the  country  resort  with  a  servant  of  the  household,  of  which 

*  Fensterln  is  the  practice,  now  falling  into  disuse,  found  in  rural  dis- 
tricts of  the  German  Schwarzwald,  of  lovers  wooing  at  the  windows  of  their 
sweethearts,  bringing  ladders  with  them,  and  becoming  so  intimate  that  they 
practically  enjoy  a  system  of  trial  marriages.  The  reputation  of  the  young 
woman  never  suffers  on  account  of  fensterln,  unless  she  becomes  intimate 
with  too  many  suitors.     (Translator.) 

THE   MATERIAL    OF  DREAMS         171 

the  child  had  opportunity  to  see  something,  and  who  was 
"  fired  "  (thrown  out)  (in  the  dream  the  opposite  :  "  thrown 
into  "),  a  story  which  we  had  also  approached  by  several 
other  paths.  The  baggage,  moreover,  or  the  trunk  of  a  servant, 
is  disparagingly  referred  to  in  Vienna  as  "  seven  plums." 
"  Pack  up  your  seven  plums  and  get  out." 

My  collection,  of  course,  contains  an  abundant  supply  of 
such  patients'  dreams,  whose  analysis  leads  to  childish  im- 
pressions that  are  remembered  obscurely  or  not  at  all,  and 
that  often  date  back  to  the  first  three  years  of  life.  But  it  is 
a  mistake  to  draw  conclusions  from  them  which  are  to  apply 
to  the  dream  in  general ;  we  are  in  every  case  dealing  with 
neurotic,  particularly  with  hysterical  persons  ;  and  the  part 
played  by  childhood  scenes  in  these  dreams  might  be  con- 
ditioned by  the  nature  of  the  neurosis,  and  not  by  that  of  the 
dream.  However,  I  am  struck  quite  as  often  in  the  course  of 
interpreting  my  own  dreams,  which  I  do  not  do  on  account  of 
obvious  symptoms  of  disease,  by  the  fact  that  I  unsuspectingly 
come  upon  a  scene  of  childhood  in  the  latent  dream  content, 
and  that  a  whole  series  of  dreams  suddenly  falls  into  line  with 
conclusions  drawn  from  childish  experiences.  I  have  already 
given  examples  of  this,  and  shall  give  still  more  upon  various 
occasions.  Perhaps  I  cannot  close  the  whole  chapter  more 
fittingly  than  by  citing  several  of  my  own  dreams,  in  which 
recent  happenings  and  long-forgotten  experiences  of  child- 
hood appear  together  as  sources  of  dreams. 

I.  After  I  fyave  been  travelling  and  have  gone  to  bed 
hungry  and  tired,  the  great  necessities  of  life  begin  to  assert 
their  claims  in  sleep,  and  I  dream  as  follows  :  I  go  into  a 
kitchen  to  order  sow,e  pastry.  Here  three  women  are  standing, 
one  of  whom  is  the  hostess,  and  is  turning  something  in  her  hand 
as  though  she  zuere  making  dumplings.  She  answers  that  I 
must  wait  until  she  has  finished  (not  distinctly  as  a  speech). 
/  become  impatient  and  go  away  insulted.  I  put  on  an  overcoat ; 
but  the  first  one  which  I  try  is  too  long.  I  take  it  off,  and  am 
somewhat  astonished  to  find  that  it  has  fur  trimming.  A  second 
one  has  sewn  into  it  a  long  strip  of  cloth  with  Turkish  drawings. 
A  stranger  with  a  long  face  and  a  short  pointed  beard  comes  up 
and  prevents  me  from  putting  it  on,  declaring  that  it  belongs  to 
him.     I  now  shoiv  him  that  it  is  embroidered  all  over  in  Turkish 


fashion.  He  asks,  "  What  business  are  the  Turkish  {drawings, 
strips  of  cloth  .  .  .  )  of  yours  ?  But  we  then  become  quite 
friendly  with  each  other. 

In  the  analysis  of  this  dream  there  occurs  to  me  quite 
unexpectedly  the  novel  which  I  read,  that  is  to  say,  which  I 
began  with  the  end  of  the  first  volume,  when  I  was  perhaps 
thirteen  years  old.  I  have  never  known  the  name  of  the  novel 
or  of  its  author,  but  the  conclusion  remains  vividly  in  my 
memory.  The  hero  succumbs  to  insanity,  and  continually 
calls  the  names  of  the  three  women  that  have  signified  the 
greatest  good  and  ill  fortune  for  him  during  life.  Pelagie  is 
one  of  these  names.  I  still  ao  not  know  what  to  make  of 
this  name  in  the  analysis.  A  propos  of  the  three  women  there 
now  come  to  the  surface  the  three  Parcae  who  spin  the  fate  of 
man,  and  I  know  that  one  of  the  three  women,  the  hostess 
in  the  dream,  is  the  mother  who  gives  life,  and  who,  moreover, 
as  in  my  case,  gives  the  first  nourishment  to  the  living  creature. 
Love  and  hunger  meet  at  the  mother's  breast.  A  young  man 
— so  runs  an  anecdote — who  became  a  great  admirer  of  womanly 
beauty,  once  when  the  conversation  turned  upon  a  beautiful 
wet  nurse  who  had  nourished  him  as  a  child,  expressed  himself 
to  the  effect  that  he  was  sorry  that  he  had  not  taken  better 
advantage  of  his  opportunity  at  the  time.  I  am  in  the  habit 
of  using  the  anecdote  to  illustrate  the  factor  of  subsequence 
in  the  mechanism  of  psychoneuroses.  .  .  .  One  of  the  Pare«, 
then,  is  rubbing  the  palms  of  her  hands  together  as  though  she 
were  making  dumplings.  A  strange  occupation  for  one  of 
the  Fates,  which  is  urgently  in  need  of  an  explanation  !  This 
is  now  found  in  another  and  earlier  childhood  memory.  When 
I  was  six  years  old,  and  was  receiving  my  first  instructions  from 
my  mother,  I  was  asked  to  believe  that  we  are  made  of  earth, 
and  that  therefore  we  must  return  to  earth.  But  this  did  not 
suit  me,  and  I  doubted  her  teaching.  Thereupon  my  mother 
rubbed  the  palms  of  her  hands  together — just  as  in  making 
dumplings,  except  that  there  was  no  dough  between  them — 
and  showed  me  the  blackish  scales  of  epidermis  which  were 
thus  rubbed  off  as  a  proof  that  it  is  earth  of  which  we  are 
made.  My  astonishment  at  this  demonstration  ad  oculos 
was  without  limit,  and  I  acquiesced  in  the  idea  which  I  was 
later  to    hear  expressed  in   words  :     "  Thou   owest  nature  a 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS         173 

death."  *  Thus  the  women  are  really  Parese  whom  I  visit 
in  the  kitchen,  as  I  have  done  so  often  in  my  childhood  years 
when  I  was  hungry,  and  when  my  mother  used  to  order  me  to 
wait  until  lunch  was  ready.  And  now  for  the  dumplings  ! 
At  least  one  of  my  teachers  at  the  University,  the  very  one 
to  whom  I  am  indebted  for  my  histological  knowledge 
(epidermis),  might  be  reminded  by  the  name  Knoedl  (German, 
Knoedel  =  dumplings)  of  a  person  whom  he  had  to  prosecute 
for  committing  a  plagiarism  of  his  writings.  To  commit 
plagiarism,  to  appropriate  anything  one  can  get,  even  though 
it  belongs  to  another,  obviously  leads  to  the  second  part  of 
the  dream,  in  which  I  am  treated  like  a  certain  overcoat  thief, 
who  for  a  time  plied  his  trade  in  the  auditoria.  I  wrote  down 
the  expression  plagiarism — without  any  reason — because  it 
presented  itself  to  me,  and  now  I  perceive  that  it  must  belong 
to  the  latent  dream-content,  because  it  will  serve  as  a  bridge 
between  different  parts  of  the  manifest  dream-content.  The 
chain  of  associations  —  Pelagie  —  plagiarism  —  plagiostomi  f 
(sharks) — fish  bladder — connects  the  old  novel  with  the  affair 
of  Knoedl  and  with  the  overcoats  (German,  Überzieher  =  thing 
drawn  over — overcoat  or  condom),  which  obviously  refer  to 
an  object  belonging  to  the  technique  of  sexual  life.t  This,  it  is 
true,  is  a  very  forced  and  irrational  connection,  but  it  is 
nevertheless  one  which  I  could  not  establish  in  waking  life 
if  it  had  not  been  already  established  by  the  activity  of  the 
dream.  Indeed,  as  though  nothing  were  sacred  for  this 
impulse  to  force  connections,  the  beloved  name,  Bruecke 
(bridge  of  words,  see  above),  now  serves  to  remind  me  of  the 
institution  in  which  I  spent  my  happiest  hours  as  a  student, 
quite  without  any  cares  ("So  you  will  ever  find  more  pleasure 
at  the  breasts  of  knowledge  without  measure  "),  in  the  most 
complete  contrast  to  the  urgent  desires  which  vex  me  while  I 
dream.  And  finally  there  comes  to  the  surface  the  recollec- 
tion of  another  dear  teacher,  whose  name  again  sounds  like 

*  Both  the  emotions  which  belong  to  these  childish  scenes — astonishment 
and  resignation  to  the  inevitable — had  appeared  in  a  dream  shortly  before, 
which  was  the  first  thing  that  brought  back  the  memory  of  this  childhood 

t  I  do  not  elaborate  plagiostomi  purposely  ;  they  recall  an  occasion  of 
angry  disgrace  before  the  same  teacher. 

X  Of.  Maury's  dream  about  kilo-lotto,  p.  50. 


something  to  eat  (Fleischl — German,  Fleisch  =  meat — like 
Knoedl),  and  of  a  pathetic  scene,  in  which  the  scales  of  epidermis 
play  a  part  (mother — hostess),  and  insanity  (the  novel),  and 
a  remedy  from  the  Latin  kitchen  which  numbs  the  sensation 
of  hunger,  to  wit,  cocaine. 

In  this  manner  I  could  follow  the  intricate  trains  of  thought 
still  further,  and  could  fully  explain  the  part  of  the  dream 
which  is  missing  in  the  analysis  ;  but  I  must  refrain,  because 
the  personal  sacrifices  which  it  would  require  are  too  great. 
I  shall  merely  take  up  one  of  the  threads,  which  will  serve  to 
lead  us  directly  to  the  dream  thoughts  that  he  at  the  bottom 
of  the  confusion.  The  stranger,  with  the  long  face  and 
pointed  beard,  who  wants  to  prevent  me  from  putting  on 
the  overcoat,  has  the  features  of  a  tradesman  at  Spalato,  of 
whom  my  wife  made  ample  purchases  of  Turkish  cloths.  His 
name  was  Popovic,  a  suspicious  name,  which,  by  the  way, 
has  given  the  humorist  Stettenheim  a  chance  to  make  a 
significant  remark  :  "  He  told  me  his  name,  and  blushingly 
shook  my  hand."  *  Moreover,  there  is  the  same  abuse  of 
names  as  above  with  Pelagie,  Knoedl,  Bruecke,  Fleischl. 
That  such  playing  with  names  is  childish  nonsense  can  be 
asserted  without  fear  of  contradiction  ;  if  I  indulge  in  it, 
this  indulgence  amounts  to  an  act  of  retribution,  for  my  own 
name  has  numberless  times  fallen  a  victim  to  such  weak- 
minded  attempts  at  humour.  Goethe  once  remarked  how 
sensitive  a  man  is  about  his  name  with  which,  as  with  his  skin, 
he  feels  that  he  has  grown  up,  whereupon  Herder  composed 
the  following  on  his  name  : 

"  Thou  who  art  born  of  gods,  of  Goths,  or  of  Kot  (mud) — 
Thy  godlike  images,  too,  are  dust." 

I  perceive  that  this  digression  about  the  abuse  of  names 
was  only  intended  to  prepare  for  this  complaint.  But  let  us 
stop  here.  .  .  .  The  purchase  at  Spalato  reminds  me  of 
another  one  at  Cattaro,  where  I  was  too  cautious,  and  missed 
an  opportunity  for  making  some  desirable  acquisitions. 
(Missing  an  opportunity  at  the  breast  of  the  nurse,  see  above.) 
Another  dream  thought,  occasioned  in  the  dreamer  by  the 
sensation  of  hunger,  is  as  follows  :  One  should  let  nothing 
*  Popo  =  backside  in  German  nursery  language. 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS         175 

which  one  can  have  escape,  even  if  a  little  wrong  is  done  ;  no 
opportunity  should  be  missed,  life  is  so  short,  death  inevitable. 
Owing  to  the  fact  that  this  also  has  a  sexual  significance,  and 
that  desire  is  unwilling  to  stop  at  a  wrong,  this  philosophy 
of  carpe  diem  must  fear  the  censor  and  must  hide  behind  a 
dream.  This  now  makes  articulate  counter-thoughts  of  all 
kinds,  recollections  of  a  time  when  spiritual  food  alone  was 
sufficient  for  the  dreamer  ;  it  suggests  repressions  of  every 
kind,  and  even  threats  of  disgusting  sexual  punishments. 

II.  A  second  dream  requires  a  longer  preliminary  state- 
ment : 

I  have  taken  a  car  to  the  West  Station  in  order  to  begin  a 
vacation  journey  to  the  Aussee,  and  I  reach  the  station  in 
time  for  the  train  to  Ischl,  which  leaves  earlier.  Here  I  see 
Count  Thun,  who  is  again  going  to  see  the  Emperor  at  Ischl. 
In  spite  of  the  rain,  he  has  come  in  an  open  carriage,  has 
passed  out  at  once  through  the  door  for  local  trains,  and  has 
motioned  back  the  gate-keeper,  who  does  not  know  him  and 
who  wants  to  take  his  ticket,  with  a  little  wave  of  his  hand. 
After  the  train  to  Ischl  has  left,  I  am  told  to  leave  the  platform 
and  go  back  into  the  hot  waiting-room  ;  but  with  difficulty 
I  secure  permission  to  remain.  I  pass  the  time  in  watching 
the  people  who  make  use  of  bribes  to  secure  a  compartment ; 
I  make  up  my  mind  to  insist  on  my  rights — that  is,  to  demand 
the  same  privilege.  Meanwhile  I  sing  something  to  myself, 
which  I  afterwards  recognise  to  be  the  aria  from  Figaro's 
Wedding  : 

"  If  my  lord  Count  wishes  to  try  a  dance, 
Try  a  dance, 
Let  him  but  say  so, 
I'll  play  him  a  tune." 

(Possibly  another  person  would  not  have  recognised  the 

During  the  whole  afternoon  I  have  been  in  an  insolent, 
combative  mood  ;  I  have  spoken  roughly  to  the  waiter  and 
the  cabman,  I  hope  without  hurting  their  feelings  ;  now  all 
kinds  of  bold  and  revolutionary  thoughts  come  into  my  head, 
of  a  kind  suited  to  the  words  of  Figaro  and  the  comedy  of 
Beaumarchais,  which  I  had  seen  at  the  Comedie  Francaise. 


The  speech  about  great  men  who  had  taken  the  trouble  to  be 
born ;  the  aristocratic  prerogative,  which  Count  Almaviva 
wants  to  apply  in  the  case  of  Susan  ;  the  jokes  which  our 
malicious  journalists  of  the  Opposition  make  upon  the  name 
of  Count  Thun  (German,  thun  =  doing)  by  calling  him  Count 
Do-Nothing.  I  really  do  not  envy  him ;  he  has  now  a  difficult 
mission  with  the  Emperor,  and  I  am  the  real  Count  Do-Nothing, 
for  I  am  taking  a  vacation.  With  this,  all  kinds  of  cheerful 
plans  for  the  vacation.  A  gentleman  now  arrives  who  is 
known  to  me  as  a  representative  of  the  Government  at  the 
medical  examinations,  and  who  has  won  the  flattering  nick- 
name of  "  Governmental  bed-fellow  "  by  his  activities  in  this 
capacity.  By  insisting  on  his  official  station  he  secures  half 
of  a  first-class  compartment,  and  I  hear  one  guard  say  to  the 
other  :  "  Where  are  we  going  to  put  the  gentleman  with  the 
first-class  half -compartment  ?  "  A  pretty  favouritism ;  I 
am  paying  for  a  whole  first-class  compartment.  Now  I  get 
a  whole  compartment  for  myself,  but  not  in  a  through  coach, 
so  that  there  is  no  toilet  at  my  disposal  during  the  night. 
My  complaints  to  the  guard  are  without  result ;  I  get  even 
by  proposing  that  at  least  there  be  a  hole  made  in  the  floor  of 
this  compartment  for  the  possible  needs  of  the  travellers.  I 
really  awake  at  a  quarter  of  three  in  the  morning  with  a  desire 
to  urinate,  having  had  the  following  dream  : 

Crowd  of  people,  meeting  of  students.  .  .  .  A  certain 
Count  (Thun  or  Taafe)  is  making  a  speech.  Upon  being  asked 
to  say  something  about  the  Germans,  he  declares  with  contemptuous 
mien  that  their  favourite  flower  is  Colfs-foot,  and  then  puts  some- 
thing like  a  torn  leaf,  really  the  crumpled  skeleton  of  a  leaf,  into 
his  buttonhole.  I  make  a  start,  I  make  a  start  then*  but  I  am 
surprised  at  this  idea  of  mine.  Then  more  indistinctly  :  It 
seems  as  though  it  ivere  the  vestibule  (Aida),  the  exits  are  jammed, 
as  though  it  ivere  necessary  to  flee.  I  make  my  way  through  a 
suite  of  handsomely  furnished  rooms,  apparently  governmental 
chambers,  with  furniture  of  a  colour  which  is  between  brown  and 
violet,  and  at  last  I  come  to  a  passage  where  a  housekeeper,  an 
elderly,  fat  woman  (Frauenzimmer),  is  seated.     I  try  to  avoid 

*  This  repetition  has  insinuated  itself  into  the  text  of  the  dream  appa- 
rently through  my  absent-mindedness,  and  I  allow  it  to  remain  because  the 
analysis  shows  that  it  has  its  significance. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         177 

talking  to  her,  but  apparently  she  thinks  I  have  a  right  to  pass 
because  she  asks  whether  she  shall  accompany  me  with  the  lamp. 
I  signify  to  her  to  tell  her  that  she  is  to  remain  standing  on  the 
stairs,  and  in  this  I  appear  to  myself  very  clever,  for  avoiding 
being  watched  at  last.  I  am  downstairs  now,  and  I  find  a  narrow, 
steep  way  along  which  I  go. 

Again  indistinctly  .  .  .  It  is  as  if  my  second  task  were  to 
get  away  out  of  the  city,  as  my  earlier  was  to  get  out  of  the  house. 
I  am  riding  in  a  one-horse  carriage,  and  tell  the  driver  to  take  me 
to  a  railway  station.  "  I  cannot  ride  with  you  on  the  tracks,"  I 
say,  after  he  has  made  the  objection  that  I  have  tired  him  out. 
Here  it  seems  as  though  I  had  already  driven  with  him  along  a 
course  which  is  ordinarily  traversed  on  the  railroad.  The  stations  are 
crowded  ;  I  consider  whether  I  shall  go  to  Krems  or  to  Znaim,  but  I 
think  that  the  court  will  be  there,  and  I  decide  in  favour  of  Graz  or 
something  of  the  sort.  Now  I  am  seated  in  the  coach,  which  is  some- 
thing like  a  street-car,  and  I  have  in  my  buttonhole  a  long  braided 
thing,  on  which  are  violet-brown  violets  of  stiff  material,  which 
attracts  the  attention  of  many  people.     Here  the  scene  breaks  off. 

I  am  again  in  front  of  the  railroad  station,  but  I  am  with  a  elderly 
gentleman.  I  invent  a  scheme  for  remaining  unrecognised,  but  I  also 
see  this  plan  already  carried  out.  Thinking  and  experiencing  are 
here,  as  it  were,  the  same  thing.  He  pretends  to  be  blind,  at  least  in 
one  eye,  and  I  hold  a  male  urinal  in  front  of  him  {which  we  have 
had  to  buy  in  the  city  or  did  buy),  I  am  thus  a  sick  attendant,  and 
have  to  give  him  the  urinal  because  he  is  blind.  If  the  conductor 
sees  us  in  this  position,  he  must  pass  us  by  without  drawing  atten- 
tion. At  the  same  time  the  attitude  of  the  person  mentioned  is 
visually  observed.     Then  I  awake  with  a  desire  to  urinate. 

The  whole  dream  seems  a  sort  of  phantasy,  which  takes  the 
dreamer  back  to  the  revolutionary  year  1848,  the  memory  of 
which  had  been  renewed  by  the  anniversary  year  1898,  as  well 
as  by  a  little  excursion  to  Wachau,  where  I  had  become  ac- 
quainted with  Emmersdorf,  a  town  which  I  wrongly  supposed 
to  be  the  resting-place  of  the  student  leader  Fischof,  to  whom 
several  features  of  the  dream  content  might  refer.  The 
thought  associations  then  lead  me  to  England,  to  the  house  of 
my  brother,  who  was  accustomed  jokingly  to  tell  his  wife  of 
"  Fifty  years  ago,"  according  to  the  title  of  a  poem  by  Lord 
Tennyson,   whereupon   the   children    were    in    the    habit    of 



correcting :  "  Fifteen  years  ago."  This  phantasy,  however,  which 
subtilely  attaches  itself  to  the  thoughts  which  the  sight  of  the 
Count  Thun  has  given  rise  to,  is  only  like  the  facade  of  Italian 
churches  which  is  superimposed  without  being  organically 
connected  with  the  building  behind  it ;  unlike  these  facades, 
however,  the  phantasy  is  filled  with  gaps  and  confused,  and 
the  parts  from  within  break  through  at  many  places.  The 
first  situation  of  the  dream  is  concocted  from  several  scenes, 
into  which  I  am  able  to  separate  it.  The  arrogant  attitude  of 
the  Count  in  the  dream  is  copied  from  a  scene  at  the  Gymnasium 
which  took  place  in  my  fifteenth  year.  We  had  contrived 
a  conspiracy  against  an  unpopular  and  ignorant  teacher,  the 
leading  spirit  in  which  was  a  schoolmate  who  seems  to  have 
taken  Henry  VIII.  of  England  as  his  model.  It  fell  to  me  to 
carry  out  the  coup-d 'dtat,  and  a  discussion  of  the  importance 
of  the  Danube  (German  Donau)  for  Austria  (Wachau  !)  was 
the  occasion  upon  which  matters  came  to  open  indignation. 
A  fellow-conspirator  was  the  only  aristocratic  schoolmate 
whom  we  had — he  was  called  the  "  giraffe  "  on  account  of  his 
conspicuous  longitudinal  development — and  he  stood  just  like 
the  Count  in  the  dream,  while  he  was  being  reprimanded  by 
the  tyrant  of  the  school,  the  Professor  of  the  German  language. 
The  explanation  of  the  favourite  flower  and  the  putting  into 
the  buttonhole  of  something  which  again  must  have  been  a 
flower  (which  recalls  the  orchids,  which  I  had  brought  to  a 
lady  friend  on  the  same  day,  and  besides  that  the  rose  of 
Jericho)  prominently  recalls  the  scene  in  Shakespeare's  his- 
torical plays  which  opens  the  civil  wars  of  the  Red  and  the 
White  Roses  ;  the  mention  of  Henry  VIII.  has  opened  the 
way  to  this  reminiscence.  It  is  not  very  far  now  from  roses 
to  red  and  white  carnations.  Meanwhile  two  little  rhymes, 
the  one  German,  the  other  Spanish,  insinuate  themselves  into 
the  analysis  :  "  Roses,  tulips,  carnations,  all  flowers  fade," 
and  "  Isabelita,  no  llores  que  se  marchitan  las  flores."  The 
Spanish  is  taken  from  Figaro.  Here  in  Vienna  white  car- 
nations have  become  the  insignia  of  the  Anti-Semites,  the 
red  ones  of  the  Social  Democrats.  Behind  this  is  the  recollec- 
tion of  an  anti-Semitic  challenge  during  a  railway  trip  in 
beautiful  Saxony  (Anglo-Saxon).  The  third  scene  contribut- 
ing to  the  formation  of  the  first  situation  in  the  dream  takes 

THE    MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        179 

place  in  my  early  student  life.  There  was  a  discussion  in  the 
German  students'  club  about  the  relation  of  philosophy  to  the 
general  sciences.  A  green  youth,  full  of  the  materialistic 
doctrine,  I  thrust  myself  forward  and  defended  a  very  one- 
sided view.  Thereupon  a  sagacious  older  school-fellow,  who 
has  since  shown  his  capacity  for  leading  men  and  organising 
the  masses,  and  who,  moreover,  bears  a  name  belonging  to 
the  animal  kingdom,  arose  and  called  us  down  thoroughly  ; 
he  too,  he  said,  had  herded  swine  in  his  youth,  and  had  come 
back  repentant  to  the  house  of  his  father.  I  started  up  (as 
in  the  dream),  became  very  uncivil,  and  answered  that  since 
I  knew  he  had  herded  swine,  I  was  not  surprised  at  the  tone  of 
his  discourse.  (In  the  dream  I  am  surprised  at  my  national 
German  sentiment.)  There  was  great  commotion  ;  and  the 
demand  came  from  all  sides  that  I  take  back  what  I  had  said, 
but  I  remained  steadfast.  The  man  who  had  been  insulted 
was  too  sensible  to  take  the  advice,  which  was  given  him,  to 
send  a  challenge,  and  let  the  matter  drop. 

The  remaining  elements  of  this  scene  of  the  dream  are  of 
more  remote  origin.  What  is  the  meaning  of  the  Count's 
proclaiming  the  colt's  foot  ?  Here  I  must  consult  my  train 
of  associations.  Colt's-foot  (German  :  Huflattich) — lattice — 
lettuce — salad-dog  (the  dog  that  grudges  others  what  he  cannot 
eat  himself).  Here  plenty  of  opprobrious  epithets  may  be 
discerned  :  Gir-afTe  (German  Affe  =  monkey,  ape),  pig,  sow, 
dog  ;  I  might  even  find  means  to  arrive  at  donkey,  on  a  detour 
by  way  of  a  name,  and  thus  again  at  contempt  for  an  academic 
teacher.  Furthermore  I  translate  colt's-foot  (Huflattich) — I 
do  not  know  how  correctly — by  "  pisse-en-lit."  I  got  this 
idea  from  Zola's  Germinal,  in  which  children  are  ordered  to 
bring  salad  of  this  kind.  The  dog — chien — has  a  name  sound- 
ing like  the  major  function  (chier,  as  pisser  stands  for  the 
minor  one).  Now  we  shall  soon  have  before  us  the  indecent 
in  all  three  of  its  categories  ;  for  in  the  same  Germinal,  which 
has  a  lot  to  do  with  the  future  revolution  there  is  described 
a  very  peculiar  contest,  depending  upon  the  production  of 
gaseous  excretions,  called  flatus.*     And  now  I  must  remark 

*  Not  in  Germinal,  but  in  La  Terre — a  mistake  of  which  I  became  aware 
only  in  the  analysis.  I  may  call  attention  also  to  the  identity  of  the  letters 
in  Huflattich  and  Flatus. 


how  the  way  to  this  flatus  has  been  for  a  long  while  preparing, 
beginning  with  the  flowers,  and  proceeding  to  the  Spanish 
rhyme  of  Isabelita  to  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  and,  by  way  of 
Henry  VIII.,  to  English  history  at  the  time  of  the  expedition 
of  the  Armada  against  England,  after  the  victorious  termina- 
tion of  which  the  English  struck  a  medal  with  the  in- 
scription :  "  Afflavit  et  dissipati  sunt,"  for  the  storm  had 
scattered  the  Spanish  fleet.  I  had  thought  of  taking  this 
phrase  for  the  title  of  a  chapter  on  "  Therapeutics  " — to 
be  meant  half  jokingly — if  I  should  ever  have  occasion  to 
give  a  detailed  account  of  my  conception  and  treatment 
of  hysteria. 

I  cannot  give  such  a  detailed  solution  of  the  second  scene 
of  the  dream,  out  of  regard  for  the  censor.  For  at  this  point 
I  put  myself  in  the  place  of  a  certain  eminent  gentleman  of 
that  revolutionary  period,  who  also  had  an  adventure  with  an 
eagle,  who  is  said  to  have  suffered  from  incontinence  of  the 
bowels,  and  the  like  ;  and  I  believe  I  should  not  be  justified  at 
this  point  in  passing  the  censor,  although  it  was  an  aulic 
councillor  (aula,  consilarius  aidicus)  who  told  me  the  greater 
part  of  these  stories.  The  allusion  to  the  suite  of  rooms  in 
the  dream  relates  to  the  private  car  of  his  Excellency,  into 
which  I  had  opportunity  to  look  for  a  moment ;  but  it  signifies, 
as  so  often  in  dreams,  a  woman  (Frauenzimmer ;  German 
Zimmer — room  is  appended  to  Frauen — woman,  in  order  to 
imply  a  slight  amount  of  contempt).*  In  the  person  of  the 
housekeeper  I  give  scant  recognition  to  an  intelligent  elderly 
lady  for  the  entertainment  and  the  many  good  stories  which  I 
have  enjoyed  at  her  house.  .  .  .  The  feature  of  the  lamp  goes 
back  to  Grillparzer,  who  notes  a  charming  experience  of  a 
similar  nature,  which  he  afterwards  made  use  of  in  "  Hero  and 
Leander  "  (the  billows  of  the  ocean  and  of  love — the  Armada 
and  the  storm  ).f 

I  must  also  forgo  detailed  analysis  of  the  two  remaining 
portions  of  the  dream  ;     I  shall  select  only  those  elements 

*  Translator's  note. 

t  In  his  significant  work  ("  Phantasie  und  Mythos,"  Jahrbuch  für  Psycho- 
analyse, Bd.  iL,  1910),  H.  Silberer  has  endeavoured  to  show  from  this  part 
of  the  dream  that  the  dreamwoik  is  able  to  reproduce  not  only  the  latent 
dream  thoughts,  but  also  the  psychic  processes  in  the   dream   formation 
"  Das  f  unctionale  Phänomen  "). 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        181 

which  lead  to  two  childhood  scenes,  for  the  sake  of  which  alone 
I  have  taken  up  the  dream.  The  reader  will  guess  that  it  is 
sexual  matter  which  forces  me  to  this  suppression  ;  but  he 
need  not  be  content  with  this  explanation.  Many  things 
which  must  be  treated  as  secrets  in  the  presence  of  others  are 
not  treated  as  such  with  one's  self,  and  here  it  is  not  a  question 
of  considerations  inducing  me  to  hide  the  solution,  but  of 
motives  of  the  inner  censor  concealing  the  real  content  of  the 
dream  from  myself.  I  may  say,  then,  that  the  analysis  shows 
these  three  portions  of  the  dream  to  be  impertinent  boasting, 
the  exuberance  of  an  absurd  grandiose  idea  which  has  long 
since  been  suppressed  in  my  waking  life,  which,  however,  dares 
show  itself  in  the  manifest  dream  content  by  one  or  two  pro- 
jections (/  seem  clever  to  myself),  and  which  makes  the  arrogant 
mood  of  the  evening  before  the  dream  perfectly  intelligible. 
It  is  boasting,  indeed,  in  all  departments  ;  thus  the  mention 
of  Graz  refers  to  the  phrase  :  What  is  the  price  of  Graz  % 
which  we  are  fond  of  using  when  we  feel  over-supplied  with 
money.  Whoever  will  recall  Master  Rabelais's  unexcelled 
description  of  the  "  Life  and  Deeds  of  Gargantua  and  his  Son 
Pantagruel,"  will  be  able  to  supply  the  boastful  content  inti- 
mated in  the  first  portion  of  the  dream.  The  following  belongs 
to  the  two  childhood  scenes  which  have  been  promised.  I  had 
bought  a  new  trunk  for  this  journey,  whose  colour,  a  brownish 
violet,  appears  in  the  dream  several  times.  (Violet-brown 
violets  made  of  stiff  material,  next  to  a  thing  which  is  called 
"  girl-catcher  " — the  furniture  in  the  governmental  chambers). 
That  something  new  attracts  people's  attention  is  a  well- 
known  belief  of  children.  Now  I  have  been  told  the  following 
story  of  my  childhood  ;  I  remember  hearing  the  story  rather 
than  the  occurrence  itself.  I  am  told  that  at  the  age  of  two 
I  still  occasionally  wetted  my  bed,  that  I  was  often  reproached 
on  this  subject,  and  that  I  consoled  my  father  by  promising 
to  buy  him  a  beautiful  new  red  bed  in  N.  (the  nearest  large 
city).  (Hence  the  detail  inserted  in  the  dream  that  we  bought 
the  urinal  in  the  city  or  had  to  buy  it;  one  must  keep  one's 
promises.  Attention  is  further  called  to  the  identity  of  the 
male  urinal  and  the  feminine  trunk,  box).  All  the  megalo- 
mania of  the  child  is  contained  in  this  promise.  The  signi- 
ficance of  the  dream  of  difficulty  in  urinating  in  the  case  of  the 


child  has  been  already  considered  in  the  interpretation  of  an 
earlier  dream  (c/.  the  dream  on  p.  145). 

Now  there  was  another  domestic  occurrence,  when  I  was 
seven  or  eight  years  old,  which  I  remember  very  well.  One 
evening,  before  going  to  bed  I  had  disregarded  the  dictates  of 
discretion  not  to  satisfy  my  wants  in  the  bedroom  of  my 
parents  and  in  their  presence,  and  in  his  reprimand  for  this 
delinquency  my  father  made  the  remark  :  "  That  boy  will 
never  amount  to  anything."  It  must  have  terribly  mortified 
my  ambition,  for  allusions  to  this  scene  return  again  and  again 
in  my  dreams,  and  are  regularly  coupled  with  enumerations 
of  my  accomplishments  and  successes,  as  though  I  wanted  to 
say  :  "  You  see,  I  have  amounted  to  something  after  all." 
Now  this  childhood  scene  furnishes  the  elements  for  the  last 
image  of  the  dream,  in  which  of  course,  the  roles  are  inter- 
changed for  the  sake  of  revenge.  The  elderly  man,  obviously 
my  father,  for  the  blindness  in  one  eye  signifies  his  glaucoma  * 
on  one  side  is  now  urinating  before  me  as  I  once  urinated  before 
him.  In  glaucoma  I  refer  to  cocaine,  which  stood  my  father  in 
good  stead  in  his  operation,  as  though  I  had  thereby  fulfilled 
my  promises.  Besides  that  I  make  sport  of  him  ;  since  he  is 
blind  I  must  hold  the  urinal  in  front  of  him,  and  I  gloat  over 
allusions  to  my  discoveries  in  the  theory  of  hysteria,  of  which 
I  am  so  proud.f 

*  Another  interpretation :  He  is  one-eyed  like  Odin,  the  father  of  the 
gods  .  .  .  Odin's  consolation.  The  consolation  in  the  childish  scene,  that  I 
will  buy  him  a  new  bed. 

t  I  here  add  some  material  for  interpretation.  Holding  the  urinal 
recalls  the  story  of  a  peasant  who  tries  one  glass  after  another  at  the  opticians, 
but  still  cannot  read  (peasant-catcher,  like  girl-catcher  in  a  portion  of  the 
dream).  The  treatment  among  the  peasants  of  the  father  who  lias  become 
weak-minded  in  Zola's  La  Terre.  The  pathetic  atonement  that  in  his  last 
days  the  father  soils  his  bed  like  a  child ;  hence,  also,  I  am  his  sick-attendant 
in  the  dream.  Thinking  and  experiencing  are  here,  as  it  were  ;  the  same 
thing  recalls  a  highly  revolutionary  closet  drama  by  Oscar  Panizza,  in  which 
the  Godhead  is  treated  quite  contemptuously,  as  though  he  were  a  paralytic 
old  man.  There  occurs  a  passage  :  "  Will  and  deed  are  the  same  thing  with 
him,  and  he  must  be  prevented  by  his  archangel,  a  kind  of  Ganymede,  from 
scolding  and  swearing,  because  these  curses  would  immediately  be  f'ul  tilled." 
Making  plans  is  a  reproach  against  my  father,  dating  from  a  later  period  in 
the  development  of  my  critical  faculty  ;  just  as  the  whole  rebellious,  sovereign- 
offending  dream,  with  its  scoff  at  high  authority,  originates  in  a  revolt  against 
my  father.  The  sovereign  is  called  father  of  the  land  (Landesvater),  and 
the  father  is  the  oldest,  first  and  only  authority  for  the  child,  from  the 
absolutism  of  which  the   other  social    authorities   have   developed   in   the 

THE    MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        183 

If  the  two  childhood  scenes  of  urinating  are  otherwise 
closely  connected  with  the  desire  for  greatness,  their  rehabilita- 
tion on  the  trip  to  the  Aussee  was  further  favoured  by  the 
accidental  circumstance  that  my  compartment  had  no  water- 
closet,  and  that  I  had  to  expect  embarrassment  on  the  ride  as 
actually  happened  in  the  morning.  I  awoke  with  the  sensation 
of  a  bodily  need.  I  suppose  one  might  be  inclined  to  credit 
these  sensations  with  being  the  actual  stimulus  of  the  dream  ; 
I  should,  however,  prefer  a  different  conception — namely, 
that  it  was  the  dream  thoughts  which  gave  rise  to  the  desire 
to  urinate.  It  is  quite  unusual  for  me  to  be  disturbed  in  sleep 
by  any  need,  at  least  at  the  time  of  this  awakening,  a  quarter 
of  four  in  the  morning.  I  may  forestall  further  objection  by 
remarking  that  I  have  hardly  ever  felt  a  desire  to  urinate 
after  awakening  early  on  other  journeys  made  under  more 
comfortable  circumstances.  Moreover,  I  can  leave  this  point 
undecided  without  hurting  my  argument. 

Since  I  have  learned,  further,  from  experience  in  dream 
analysis  that  there  always  remain  important  trains  of  thought 
proceeding  from  dreams  whose  interpretation  at  first  seems 
complete  (because  the  sources  of  the  dream  and  the  actuation 
of  the  wish  are  easily  demonstrable),  trains  of  thought  reaching 
back  into  earliest  childhood,  I  have  been  forced  to  ask  myself 
whether  this  feature  does  not  constitute  an  essential  condition 
of  dreaming.  If  I  were  to  generalise  this  thesis,  a  connection 
with  what  has  been  recently  experienced  would  form  a  part 

course  of  the  history  of  human  civilisation  (in  so  far  as  the  "  mother's  right " 
does  not  force  a  qualification  of  this  thesis).  The  idea  in  the  dream,  "  think- 
ing and  experiencing  are  the  same  thing,"  refers  to  the  explanation  of 
hysterical  symptoms,  to  which  the  male  urinal  (glass)  also  has  a  relation.  I 
need  not  explain  the  principle  of  the  "  Gschnas  "  to  a  Viennese  ;  it  consists  in 
constructing  objects  of  rare  and  costly  appearance  out  of  trifles,  and  pre- 
ferably out  of  comical  and  worthless  material — for  example,  making  suits  of 
armour  out  of  cooking  utensils,  sticks  and  "  salzstangeln  (elongated  rolls),  as 
our  artists  like  to  do  at  their  jolly  parties.  I  had  now  learned  that  hysterical 
subjects  do  the  same  thing  ;  besides  what  has  actually  occurred  to  them,  they 
unconsciously  conceive  horrible  or  extravagant  fantastic  images,  which  they 
construct  from  the  most  harmless  and  commonplace  things  they  have  ex- 
perienced. The  symptoms  depend  solely  upon  these  phantasies,  not  upon 
the  memory  of  their  real  experiences,  be  they  serious  or  harmless.  This 
explanation  helped  me  to  overcome  many  difficulties  and  gave  me  much 
pleasure.  I  was  able  to  allude  to  it  in  the  dream  element  "  male  urinal "  (glass) 
because  I  had  been  told  that  at  the  last  "  Gschnas  "  evening  a  poison  chalice 
of  Lucretia  Borgia  had  been  exhibited,  the  chief  constituent  of  which  had 
consisted  of  a  glass  urinal  for  men,  such  as  is  used  in  hospitals. 


of  the  manifest  content  of  every  dream  and  a  connection  with 
what  has  been  most  remotely  experienced,  of  its  latent  content ; 
and  I  can  actually  show  in  the  analysis  of  hysteria  that  in  a 
true  sense  these  remote  experiences  have  remained  recent  up 
to  the  present  time.  But  this  conjecture  seems  still  very 
difficult  to  prove  ;  I  shall  probably  have  to  return  to  the  part 
played  by  the  earliest  childhood  experiences,  in  another  con- 
nection (Chapter  VII.). 

Of  the  three  peculiarities  of  dream  memory  considered  at 
the  beginning,  one — the  preference  for  the  unimportant  in 
the  dream  content — has  been  satisfactorily  explained  by  tracing 
it  back  to  dream  disfigurement.  We  have  been  able  to  estab- 
lish the  existence  of  the  other  two — the  selection  of  recent  and 
of  infantile  material — but  we  have  found  it  impossible  to 
explain  them  by  the  motive  of  dream.  Let  us  keep  in  mind 
these  two  characteristics,  which  still  remain  to  be  explained 
or  evaluated  ;  a  place  for  them  will  have  to  be  found  else- 
where, either  in  the  psychology  of  the  sleeping  state,  or  in  the 
discussion  of  the  structure  of  the  psychic  apparatus  which  we 
shall  undertake  later,  after  we  have  learned  that  the  inner 
nature  of  the  apparatus  may  be  observed  through  dream 
interpretation  as  though  through  a  window. 

Just  here  I  may  emphasize  another  result  of  the  last  few 
dream  analyses.  The  dream  often  appears  ambiguous  ;  not 
only  may  several  wish-fulfilments,  as  the  examples  show,  be 
united  in  it,  but  one  meaning  or  one  wish-fulfilment  may  also 
conceal  another,  until  at  the  bottom  one  comes  upon  the 
fulfilment  of  a  wish  from  the  earliest  period  of  childhood  ;  and 
here  too,  it  may  be  questioned  whether  "  often  "  in  this  sentence 
may  not  more  correctly  be  replaced  by  "  regularly." 

(c)  Somatic  Sources  of  Dreams 

If  the  attempt  be  made  to  interest  the  cultured  layman  in 
the  problems  of  dreaming,  and  if,  with  this  end  in  view,  he  be 
asked  the  question  from  what  source  dreams  originate  according 
to  his  opinion,  it  is  generally  found  that  the  person  thus  interro- 
gated thinks  himself  in  assured  possession  of  a  part  of  the 
solution.  He  immediately  thinks  of  the  influence  which  a 
disturbed    or    impeded   digestion    ("  Dreams    come   from   the 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         185 

stomach  "),  accidental  bodily  position,  and  little  occurrences 
during  sleep,  exercise  upon  the  formation  of  dreams,  and  he 
seems  not  to  suspect  that  even  after  the  consideration  of  all 
these  factors  there  still  remains  something  unexplained. 

We  have  explained  at  length  in  the  introductory  chapter 
(p.  16),  what  a  role  in  the  formation  of  dreams  the  scientific 
literature  credits  to  the  account  of  somatic  exciting  sources, 
so  that  we  need  here  only  recall  the  results  of  this  investiga- 
tion. We  have  seen  that  three  kinds  of  somatic  exciting 
sources  are  distinguished,  objective  sensory  stimuli  which 
proceed  from  external  objects,  the  inner  states  of  excitation 
of  the  sensory  organs  having  only  a  subjective  basis,  and  the 
bodily  stimuli  which  originate  internally  ;  and  we  have  noticed 
the  inclination  on  the  part  of  the  authors  to  force  the  psychic 
sources  of  the  dream  into  the  background  or  to  disregard  them 
altogether  in  favour  of  these  somatic  sources  of  stimulation 
(p.  32). 

In  testing  the  claims  which  are  made  on  behalf  of  these 
classes  of  somatic  sources  of  stimulation,  we  have  discovered 
that  the  significance  of  the  objective  stimuli  of  the  sensory 
organs — whether  accidental  stimuli  during  sleep  or  those 
stimuli  which  cannot  be  excluded  from  our  dormant  psychic 
life — has  been  definitely  established  by  numerous  observations 
and  is  confirmed  by  experiments  (p.  18)  ;  we  have  seen  that 
the  part  played  by  subjective  sensory  stimuli  appears  to  be 
demonstrated  by  the  return  of  hypnogogic  sensory  images  in 
dreams,  and  that  although  the  referring  of  these  dream  images 
and  ideas,  in  the  broadest  sense,  to  internal  bodily  stimulation 
is  not  demonstrable  in  every  detail,  it  can  be  supported  by  the 
well-known  influence  which  an  exciting  state  of  the  digestive, 
urinary,  and  sexual  organs  exercise  upon  the  contents  of  our 

"  Nerve  stimulus  "  and  "  bodily  stimulus,"  then,  would  be 
the  somatic  sources  of  the  dream — that  is,  the  only  sources 
whatever  of  the  dream,  according  to  several  authors. 

But  we  have  already  found  a  number  of  doubts,  which  seem 
to  attack  not  so  much  the  correctness  of  the  somatic  theory  of 
stimulation  as  its  adequacy. 

However  certain  all  the  representatives  of  this  theory  may 
have  felt  about  the  actual  facts  on  which  it  is  based — especially 


in  case  of  the  accidental  and  external  nerve  stimuli,  which 
may  be  recognised  in  the  content  of  the  dream  without  any 
trouble — nevertheless  none  of  them  has  been  able  to  avoid 
the  admission  that  the  abundant  ideal  content  of  dreams  does 
not  admit  of  explanation  by  external  nerve-stimuli  alone. 
Miss  Mary  Whiton  Calkins  12  has  tested  her  own  dreams  and 
those  of  another  person  for  a  period  of  six  weeks  with  this  idea 
in  mind,  and  has  found  only  from  13" 2  per  cent,  to  6" 7  per  cent, 
in  which  the  element  of  external  sensory  perception  was 
demonstrable ;  only  two  cases  in  the  collection  could  be  re- 
ferred to  organic  sensations.  Statistics  here  confirm  what  a 
hasty  glance  at  our  own  experience  might  have  led  us  to 

The  decision  has  been  made  repeatedly  to  distinguish  the 
"  dream  of  nerve  stimulus "  from  the  other  forms  of  the 
dream  as  a  well-established  sub-species.  Spitta 64  divided 
dreams  into  dreams  of  nerve  stimulus  and  association  dreams. 
But  the  solution  clearly  remained  unsatisfactory  as  long  as 
the  link  between  the  somatic  sources  of  dreams  and  their 
ideal  content  could  not  be  demonstrated. 

Besides  the  first  objection,  of  the  inadequate  frequency  of 
external  exciting  sources,  there  arises  as  a  second  objection  the 
inadequate  explanation  of  dreams  offered  by  the  introduction 
of  this  sort  of  dream  sources.  The  representatives  of  the 
theory  accordingly  must  explain  two  things,  in  the  first  place, 
why  the  external  stimulus  in  the  dream  is  never  recognised 
according  to  its  real  nature,  but  is  regularly  mistaken  for 
something  else  (c/.  the  alarm-clock  dreams,  p.  22),  and  secondly, 
why  the  reaction  of  the  receiving  mind  to  this  misrecognised 
stimulus  should  result  so  indeterminately  and  changefully. 
As  an  answer  to  these  questions,  we  have  heard  from  Strümpell 66 
that  the  mind,  as  a  result  of  its  being  turned  away  from  the 
outer  world  during  sleep,  is  not  capable  of  giving  correct  inter- 
pretation to  the  objective  sensory  stimulus,  but  is  forced  to 
form  illusions  on  the  basis  of  the  indefinite  incitements  from 
many  directions.     As  expressed  in  his  own  words  (p.  108)  : 

"  As  soon  as  a  sensation,  a  sensational  complex,  a  feeling, 
or  a  psychic  process  in  general,  arises  in  the  mind  during  sleep 
from  an  outer  or  inner  nerve-stimulus,  and  is  perceived  by  the 
mind,  this  process  calls  up  sensory  images,  that  is  to  say, 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        187 

earlier  perceptions,  either  unembellished  or  with  the  psychic 
values  belonging  to  them,  from  the  range  of  waking  experi- 
ences, of  which  the  mind  has  remained  in  possession.  It 
seems  to  collect  about  itself,  as  it  were,  a  greater  or  less  number 
of  such  images,  from  which  the  impression  which  originates 
from  the  nerve-stimulus  receives  its  psychic  value.  It  is 
usually  said  here,  as  the  idiom  does  of  waking  thought,  that 
the  mind  interprets  impressions  of  nerve-stimuli  in  sleep.  The 
result  of  this  interpretation  is  the  so-called  nerve-stimulus 
dream — that  is  to  say,  a  dream  whose  composition  is  con- 
ditioned by  the  fact  that  a  nerve-stimulus  brings  about  its 
effect  in  psychic  life  according  to  the  laws  of  reproduction." 

The  opinion  of  Wundt 76  agrees  in  all  essentials  with  this 
theory.  He  says  that  the  ideas  in  the  dream  are  probably 
the  result,  for  the  most  part,  of  sensory  stimuli,  especially  of 
those  of  general  sensation,  and  are  therefore  mostly  phantastic 
illusions — probably  memory  presentations  which  are  only 
partly  pure,  and  which  have  been  raised  to  hallucinations. 
Strümpell  has  found  an  excellent  simile  (p.  84).  It  is  as  "  if 
the  ten  fingers  of  a  person  ignorant  of  music  should  stray  over 
the  keyboard  of  an  instrument  " — to  illustrate  the  relation 
between  dream  content  and  dream  stimuli,  which  follows  from 
this  theory.  The  implication  is  that  the  dream  does  not 
appear  as  a  psychic  phenomenon,  originating  from  psychic 
motives,  but  as  the  result  of  a  physiological  stimulus,  which  is 
expressed  in  psychic  symptomology,  because  the  apparatus 
which  is  affected  by  the  stimulus  is  not  capable  of  any  other 
expression.  Upon  a  similar  assumption  is  based,  for  example, 
the  explanation  of  compulsive  ideas  which  Meynert  tried  to 
give  by  means  of  the  famous  simile  of  the  dial  on  which  in- 
dividual figures  are  prominent  because  they  are  in  more 
marked  relief. 

However  popular  this  theory  of  somatic  dream  stimuli 
may  have  become,  and  however  seductive  it  may  seem,  it  is 
nevertheless  easy  to  show  the  weak  point  in  it.  Every 
somatic  dream  stimulus  which  provokes  the  psychic  apparatus 
to  interpretation  through  the  formation  of  illusions,  is  capable 
of  giving  rise  to  an  incalculable  number  of  such  attempts  at 
interpretation ;  it  can  thus  attain  representation  in  the 
dream    content    by   means    of    an    extraordinary   number    of 


different  ideas.  But  the  theory  of  Strümpell  and  Wundt  is 
incapable  of  instancing  any  motive  which  has  control  over  the 
relation  between  the  external  stimulus  and  the  dream  idea 
which  has  been  selected  to  interpret  it,  and  therefore  of 
explaining  the  "  peculiar  choice  "  which  the  stimuli  "  often 
enough  make  in  the  course  of  their  reproductive  activity  " 
(Lipps,  Grundtatsachen  des  Seelenlebens,  p.  170).  Other  ob- 
jections may  be  directed  against  the  fundamental  assumption 
of  the  whole  theory  of  illusions — the  assumption  that  during 
sleep  the  mind  is  not  in  a  condition  to  recognise  the  real  nature 
of  the  objective  sensory  stimuli.  The  old  physiologist  Burdach 8 
proves  to  us  that  the  mind  is  quite  capable  even  during  sleep 
of  interpreting  correctly  the  sensory  impressions  which  reach 
it,  and  of  reacting  in  accordance  with  the  correct  interpretation. 
He  establishes  this  by  showing  that  it  is  possible  to  exempt 
certain  impressions  which  seem  important  to  the  individuals, 
from  the  neglect  of  sleeping  (nurse  and  child),  and  that  one  is 
more  surely  awakened  by  one's  own  name  than  by  an  in- 
different auditory  impression,  all  of  which  presupposes,  of 
course,  that  the  mind  distinguishes  among  sensations,  even  in 
sleep  (Chapter  I.,  p.  41).  Burdach  infers  from  these  observa- 
tions that  it  is  not  an  incapability  of  interpreting  sensory 
stimuli  in  the  sleeping  state  which  must  be  assumed,  but  a 
lack  of  interest  in  them.  The  same  arguments  which  Burdach 
used  in  1830,  later  reappear  unchanged  in  the  works  of  Lipps 
in  the  year  1883,  where  they  are  employed  for  the  purpose  of 
attacking  the  theory  of  somatic  stimuli.  According  to  this 
the  mind  seems  to  be  like  the  sleeper  in  the  anecdote,  who, 
upon  being  asked,  "  Are  you  asleep  ?  "  answers  "  No,"  and 
upon  being  again  addressed  with  the  words,  "  Then  lend  me 
ten  florins,"  takes  refuge  in  the  excuse  :   "  I  am  asleep." 

The  inadequacy  of  the  theory  of  somatic  dream  stimuli 
may  also  be  demonstrated  in  another  manner.  Observations 
show  that  I  am  not  urged  to  dream  by  external  stimulations, 
even  if  these  stimulations  appear  in  the  dream  as  soon  as,  and 
in  case  that,  I  dream.  In  response  to  the  tactile  or  pressure 
stimulus  which  I  get  while  sleeping,  various  reactions  are  at 
my  disposal.  I  can  overlook  it  and  discover  only  upon  awaken- 
ing that  my  leg  has  been  uncovered  or  my  arm  under  pressure  ; 
pathology  shows  the  most  numerous  examples  where  power- 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        189 

fully  acting  sensory  and  motor  stimuli  of  different  sorts  remain 
without  effect  during  sleep.  I  can  perceive  a  sensation  during 
sleep  through  and  through  sleep,  as  it  were,  which  happens 
as  a  rule  with  painful  stimuli,  but  without  weaving  the  pain 
into  the  texture  of  the  dream  ;  thirdly,  I  can  awaken  on 
account  of  the  stimulus  in  order  to  obviate  it.  Only  as  a  fourth 
possible  reaction,  I  may  be  impelled  to  dream  by  a  nerve 
stimulus  ;  but  the  other  possibilities  are  realised  at  least  as 
often  as  that  of  dream  formation.  This  could  not  be  the  case 
if  the  motive  for  dreaming  did  not  lie  outside  of  the  somatic 
sources  of  dreams. 

Taking  proper  account  of  the  defect  in  the  explanation  of 
dreams  by  somatic  stimuli  which  has  just  been  shown,  other 
authors — Scherner,58  who  was  joined  by  the  philosopher 
Volkelt 72 — have  tried  to  determine  more  exactly  the  psychic 
activities  which  cause  the  variegated  dream  images  to  arise 
from  the  somatic  stimuli,  and  have  thus  transferred  the 
essential  nature  of  dreams  back  to  the  province  of  the  mind, 
and  to  that  of  psychic  activity.  Schemer  not  only  gave  a 
poetically  appreciative,  glowing  and  vivid  description  of  the 
psychic  peculiarities  which  develop  in  the  course  of  dream 
formation ;  he  also  thought  he  had  guessed  the  principle 
according  to  which  the  mind  proceeds  with  the  stimuli  that 
are  at  its  disposal.  The  dream  activity,  according  to  Schemer 
— after  phantasy  has  been  freed  from  the  shackles  imposed 
upon  it  during  the  day,  and  has  been  given  free  rein — strives 
to  represent  symbolically  the  nature  of  the  organ  from  which 
the  stimulus  proceeds.  Thus  we  have  a  kind  of  dream-book 
as  a  guide  for  the  interpretation  of  dreams,  by  means  of  which 
bodily  sensations,  the  conditions  of  the  organs  and  of  the 
stimuli  may  be  inferred  from  dream  images.  "  Thus  the 
image  of  a  cat  expresses  an  angry  discontented  mood,  the 
image  of  a  light-coloured  bit  of  smooth  pastry  the  nudity  of 
the  body.  The  human  body  as  a  whole  is  pictured  as  a  house 
by  the  phantasy  of  the  dream,  and  each  individual  organ  of 
the  body  as  a  part  of  the  house.  In  '  toothache-dreams  '  a 
high  vaulted  vestibule  corresponds  to  the  mouth  and  a  stair 
to  the  descent  of  the  gullet  to  the  alimentary  canal ;  in  the 
'  headache-dream '  the  ceiling  of  a  room  which  is  covered 
with  disgusting   reptile-like  spiders  is  chosen  to  denote  the 


upper  part  of  the  head  "  (Volkelt,  p.  39).  "  Several  different 
symbols  are  used  by  the  dream  for  the  same  organ,  thus  the 
breathing  lungs  find  their  symbol  in  an  oven  filled  with  flames 
and  with  a  roaring  draught,  the  heart  in  hollow  chests  and 
baskets,  and  the  bladder  in  round,  bag-shaped  objects  or 
anything  else  hollow.  It  is  especially  important  that  at  the 
end  of  a  dream  the  stimulating  organ  or  its  function  be  repre- 
sented undisguised  and  usually  on  the  dreamer's  own  body. 
Thus  the  '  toothache-dream '  usually  ends  by  the  dreamer 
drawing  a  tooth  from  his  own  mouth  "  (p.  35).  It  cannot  be 
said  that  this  theory  has  found  much  favour  with  the  authors. 
Above  all,  it  seems  extravagant ;  there  has  been  no  inclination 
even  to  discover  the  small  amount  of  justification  to  which  it 
may,  in  my  opinion,  lay  claim.  As  may  be  seen,  it  leads  tcna — 
revival  of  the  dream  interpretation  by  means  of  symbolism, 
which  the  ancients  used,  except  that  the  source  from  which 
the  interpretation  is  to  be  taken  is  limited  to  the  human  body. 
The  lack  of  a  technique  of  interpretation  which  is  scientifically 
comprehensible  must  seriously  limit  the  applicability  of 
Schemer's  theory.  Arbitrariness  in  dream  interpretation 
seems  in  no  wise  excluded,  especially  since  a  stimulus  may  be 
expressed  by  several  representations  in  the  content  of  the 
dream  ;  thus  Schemer's  associate,  Volkelt,  has  already  found 
it  impossible  to  confirm  the  representation  of  the  body  as  a 
house.  Another  objection  is  that  here  again  dream  activity 
is  attributed  to  the  mind  as  a  useless  and  aimless  activity, 
since  according  to  the  theory  in  question  the  mind  is  content 
with  forming  phantasies  about  the  stimulus  with  which  it  is 
concerned,  without  even  remotely  contemplating  anything 
like  a  discharge  of  the  stimulus. 

But  Schemer's  theory  of  the  symbolisation  of  bodily  stimuli 
by  the  dream  receives  a  heavy  blow  from  another  objection. 
These  bodily  stimuli  are  present  at  all  times,  and  according  to 
general  assumption  the  mind  is  more  accessible  to  them  during 
sleep  than  in  waking.  It  is  thus  incomprehensible  why  the 
mind  does  not  dream  continually  throughout  the  night,  and 
why  it  does  not  dream  every  night  and  about  all  the  organs. 
If  one  attempts  to  avoid  this  objection  by  making  the  condition 
that  especial  stimuli  must  proceed  from  the  eye,  the  ear,  the 
teeth,  the  intestines  in  order  to  arouse  dream  activity,  one  is 

THE    MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        191 

confronted  by  the  difficulty  of  proving  that  this  increase  of 
stimulation  is  objective,  which  is  possible  only  in  a  small 
number  of  cases.  If  the  dream  of  flying  is  a  symbolisation 
of  the  upward  and  downward  motion  of  the  pulmonary  lobes, 
either  this  dream,  as  has  already  been  remarked  by  Strümpell, 
would  be  dreamt  much  oftener,  or  an  accentuation  of  the 
function  of  breathing  during  the  dream  would  have  to  be 
demonstrable.  Still  another  case  is  possible — the  most 
probable  of  all — that  now  and  then  special  motives  directing 
attention  to  the  visceral  sensations  which  are  universally 
present  are  active,  but  this  case  takes  us  beyond  the  range  of 
Schemer's  theory. 

The  value  of  Schemer's  and  Volkelt's  discussions  lies  in 
the  fact  that  they  call  attention  to  a  number  of  characteristics 
of  the  dream  content  which  are  in  need  of  explanation,  and 
which  seem  to  promise  new  knowledge.  It  is  quite  true  that 
symbolisations  of  organs  of  the  body  and  of  their  functions 
are  contained  in  dreams,  that  water  in  a  dream  often  signifies 
a  desire  to  urinate,  that  the  male  genital  may  often  be  repre- 
sented by  a  staff  standing  erect  or  by  a  pillar,  &c.  In  dreams 
which  show  a  very  animated  field  of  vision  and  brilliant 
colours,  in  contrast  to  the  dimness  of  other  dreams,  the  inter- 
pretation may  hardly  be  dismissed  that  they  are  "  dreams  of 
visual  stimulation,"  any  more  than  it  may  be  disputed  that 
there  is  a  contribution  of  illusory  formations  in  dreams  which 
contain  noise  and  confusion  of  voices.  A  dream  like  that  of 
Schemer,  of  two  rows  of  fair  handsome  boys  standing  opposite 
to  each  other  on  a  bridge,  attacking  each  other  and  then 
taking  their  places  again,  until  finally  the  dreamer  himself 
sits  down  on  the  bridge  and  pulls  a  long  tooth  out  of  his  jaw ; 
or  a  similar  one  of  Volkelt's,  in  which  two  rows  of  drawers  play 
a  part,  and  which  again  ends  in  the  extraction  of  a  tooth  ; 
dream  formations  of  this  sort,  which  are  related  in  great 
numbers  by  the  authors,  prevent  our  discarding  Schemer's 
theory  as  an  idle  fabrication  without  seeking  to  find  its  kernel 
of  truth.  We  are  now  confronted  by  the  task  of  giving  the 
supposed  symbolisation  of  the  dental  stimulus  an  explanation 
of  a  different  kind. 

Throughout  our  consideration  of  the  theory  of  the  somatic 
sources  of  dreams,  I  have  refrained  from  urging  the  argument 


which  is  inferred  from  our  dream  analyses.  If  we  have  suc- 
ceeded in  proving,  by  a  procedure  which  other  authors  have 
not  applied  in  their  investigation  of  dreams,  that  the  dream 
as  a  psychic  action  possesses  value  peculiar  to  itself,  that  a 
wish  supplies  the  motive  for  its  formation,  and  that  the  experi- 
ences of  the  previous  day  furnish  the  immediate  material  for 
its  content,  any  other  theory  of  dreams  neglecting  such  an 
important  method  of  investigation,  and  accordingly  causing 
the  dream  to  appear  a  useless  and  problematic  psychic  reaction 
to  somatic  stimuli,  is  dismissible  without  any  particular 
comment.  Otherwise  there  must  be — which  is  highly  im- 
probable— two  entirely  different  kinds  of  dreams,  of  which 
only  one  has  come  under  our  observation,  while  only  the 
other  has  been  observed  by  the  earlier  connoisseurs  of  the 
dream.  It  still  remains  to  provide  a  place  for  the  facts  which 
are  used  to  support  the  prevailing  theory  of  somatic  dream- 
stimuli,  within  our  own  theory  of  dreams. 

We  have  already  taken  the  first  step  in  this  direction  in 
setting  up  the  thesis  that  the  dream  activity  is  under  a  com- 
pulsion to  elaborate  all  the  dream  stimuli  which  are  simul- 
taneously present  into  a  unified  whole  (p.  151).  We  have 
seen  that  when  two  or  more  experiences  capable  of  making 
an  impression  have  been  left  over  from  the  previous  day,  the 
wishes  which  result  from  them  are  united  into  one  dream  ; 
similarly,  that  an  impression  possessing  psychic  value  and  the 
indifferent  experiences  of  the  previous  day  are  united  in  the 
dream  material,  provided  there  are  available  connecting  ideas 
between  the  two.  Thus  the  dream  appears  to  be  a  reaction  to 
everything  which  is  simultaneously  present  as  actual  in  the 
sleeping  mind.  As  far  as  we  have  hitherto  analysed  the 
dream  material,  we  have  discovered  it  to  be  a  collection  of 
psychic  remnants  and  memory  traces,  which  we  were  obliged 
to  credit  (on  account  of  the  preference  shown  for  recent  and 
infantile  material)  with  a  character  of  actuality,  though  the 
nature  of  this  was  not  at  the  time  determinable.  Now  it  will 
not  be  difficult  to  foretell  what  will  happen  when  new  material 
in  the  form  of  sensations  is  added  to  these  actualities  of 
memory.  These  stimuli  likewise  derive  importance  for  the 
dream  because  they  are  actual ;  they  are  united  with  the 
other  psychic  actualities  in  order  to  make  up  the  material  for 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        193 

dream  formation.  To  express  it  differently,  the  stimuli 
which  appear  during  sleep  are  worked  over  into  the  fulfilment 
of  a  wish,  the  other  component  parts  of  which  are  the  remnants 
of  daily  experience  with  which  we  are  familiar.  This  union, 
however,  is  not  inevitable  ;  we  have  heard  that  more  than  one 
sort  of  attitude  towards  bodily  stimuli  is  possible  during  sleep. 
Wherever  this  union  has  been  brought  about,  it  has  simply 
been  possible  to  find  for  the  dream  content  that  kind  of  pre- 
sentation material  which  will  give  representation  to  both 
classes  of  dream  sources,  the  somatic  as  well  as  the  psychic. 

The  essential  nature  of  the  dream  is  not  changed  by  this 
addition  of  somatic  material  to  the  psychic  sources  of  the 
dream  ;  it  remains  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish  without  reference 
to  the  way  in  which  its  expression  is  determined  by  the  actual 

I  shall  gladly  find  room  here  for  a  number  of  peculiarities, 
which  serve  to  put  a  different  face  on  the  significance  of  exter- 
nal stimuli  for  the  dream.  I  imagine  that  a  co-operation  of 
individual,  physiological,  and  accidental  factors,  conditioned 
by  momentary  circumstances,  determines  how  one  will  act  in 
each  particular  case  of  intensive  objective  stimulation  during 
sleep  ;  the  degree  of  the  profoundness  of  sleep  whether  habitual 
or  accidental  in  connection  with  the  intensity  of  the  stimulus, 
will  in  one  case  make  it  possible  to  suppress  the  stimulus,  so 
that  it  will  not  disturb  sleep  ;  in  another  case  they  will  force 
an  awakening  or  will  support  the  attempt  to  overcome  the 
stimulus  by  weaving  it  into  the  texture  of  the  dream.  In 
correspondence  with  the  multiplicity  of  these  combinations, 
external  objective  stimuli  will  receive  expression  more  frequently 
in  the  case  of  one  person  than  in  that  of  another.  In  the  case 
of  myself,  who  am  an  excellent  sleeper,  and  who  stubbornly 
resists  any  kind  of  disturbance  in  sleep,  this  intermixture  of 
external  causes  of  irritation  into  my  dreams  is  very  rare,  while 
psychic  motives  apparently  cause  me  to  dream  very  easily. 
I  have  indeed  noted  only  a  single  dream  in  which  an  objective, 
painful  source  of  stimulation  is  demonstrable,  and  it  will  be 
highly  instructive  to  see  what  effect  the  external  stimulus  had 
in  this  very  dream. 

/  am  riding  on  a  grey  horse,  at  first  timidly  and  awkwardly, 
as  though  I  were  only  leaning  against  something.     I  meet  a 



colleague  P.,  who  is  mounted  on  a  horse  and  is  wearing  a  heavy 
woollen  suit ;  he  calls  my  attention  to  something  (probably  to  the 
fact  that  my  riding  position  is  bad).  Now  I  become  more  and 
more  expert  on  the  horse,  which  is  most  intelligent;  I  sit  com- 
fortably, and  I  notice  that  I  am  already  quite  at  home  in  the 
saddle.  For  a  saddle  I  have  a  kind  of  padding,  which  completely 
fills  the  space  between  the  neck  and  the  rump  of  the  horse.  In 
this  manner  I  ride  with  difficulty  between  two  lumber-wagons. 
After  having  ridden  up  the  street  for  some  distance,  I  turn  around 
and  want  to  dismount,  at  first  in  front  of  a  little  open  chapel, 
which  is  situated  close  to  the  street.  Then  I  actually  dismount  in 
front  of  a  chapel  which  stands  near  the  first ;  the  hotel  is  in  the 
same  street,  I  could  let  the  horse  go  there  by  itself,  but  I  prefer  to 
lead  it  there.  It  seems  as  if  I  should  be  ashamed  to  arrive  there 
on  horseback.  In  front  of  the  hotel  is  standing  a  hall-boy  who 
shows  me  a  card  of  mine  which  has  been  found,  and  who  ridicules 
me  on  account  of  it.  On  the  card  is  written,  doubly  underlined, 
"  Eat  nothing,"  and  then  a  second  sentence  (indistinct)  something 
like  "  Do  not  work  "  ;  at  the  same  time  a  hazy  idea  that  I  am  in  a 
strange  city,  in  which  I  do  no  work. 

It  will  not  be  apparent  at  once  that  this  dream  originated 
under  the  influence,  or  rather  under  the  compulsion,  of  a 
stimulus  of  pain.  The  day  before  I  had  suffered  from  furuncles, 
which  made  every  movement  a  torture,  and  at  last  a  furuncle 
had  grown  to  the  size  of  an  apple  at  the  root  of  the  scrotum, 
and  had  caused  me  the  most  intolerable  pains  that  accom- 
panied every  step  ;  a  feverish  lassitude,  lack  of  appetite,  and 
the  hard  work  to  which  I  had  nevertheless  kept  myself  during 
the  day,  had  conspired  with  the  pain  to  make  me  lose  my 
temper.  I  was  not  altogether  in  a  condition  to  discharge  my 
duties  as  a  physician,  but  in  view  of  the  nature  and  the  location 
of  the  malady,  one  might  have  expected  some  performance 
other  than  riding,  for  which  I  was  very  especially  unfitted. 
It  is  this  very  activity,  of  riding  into  which  I  am  plunged  by 
the  dream  ;  it  is  the  most  energetic  denial  of  the  suffering 
which  is  capable  of  being  conceived.  In  the  first  place,  I  do 
not  know  how  to  ride,  I  do  not  usually  dream  of  it,  and  I 
never  sat  on  a  horse  but  once — without  a  saddle — and  then  I 
did  not  feel  comfortable.  But  in  this  dream  I  ride  as  though 
I 'had  no  furuncle  on  the  perineum,  and  why  ?    just  because  I 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        195 

don't  want  any.  According  to  the  description  my  saddle  is 
the  poultice  which  has  made  it  possible  for  me  to  go  to  sleep. 
Probably  I  did  not  feel  anything  of  my  pain — as  I  was  thus 
taken  care  of — during  the  first  few  hours  of  sleeping.  Then 
the  painful  sensations  announced  themselves  and  tried  to 
wake  me  up,  whereupon  the  dream  came  and  said  soothingly  : 
"  Keep  on  sleeping,  you  won't  wake  up  anyway  !  You  have 
no  furuncle  at  all,  for  you  are  riding  on  a  horse,  and  with  a 
furuncle  where  you  have  it  riding  is  impossible  !  "  And  the 
dream  was  successful ;  the  pain  was  stifled,  and  I  went  on 

But  the  dream  was  not  satisfied  with  "  suggesting  away  " 
the  furuncle  by  means  of  tenaciously  adhering  to  an  idea 
incompatible  with  that  of  the  malady,  in  doing  which  it  behaved 
like  the  hallucinatory  insanity  of  the  mother  who  has  lost  her 
child,  or  like  the  merchant  who  has  been  deprived  of  his 
fortune  by  losses.*  In  addition  the  details  of  the  denied 
sensation  and  of  the  image  which  is  used  to  displace  it  are 
employed  by  the  dream  as  a  means  to  connect  the  material 
ordinarily  actually  present  in  the  mind  with  the  dream  situa- 
tion, and  to  give  this  material  representation.  I  am  riding 
on  a  grey  horse — the  colour  of  the  horse  corresponds  exactly 
to  the  pepper-and-salt  costume  in  which  I  last  met  my  colleague 
P.  in  the  country.  I  have  been  warned  that  highly  seasoned 
food  is  the  cause  of  furunculosis,  but  in  any  case  it  is  preferable 
as  an  etiological  explanation  to  sugar  which  ordinarily  suggests 
furunculosis.  My  friend  P.  has  been  pleased  to  "  ride  the  high 
horse  "  with  regard  to  me,  ever  since  he  superseded  me  in  the 
treatment  of  a  female  patient,  with  whom  I  had  performed 
great  feats  (in  the  dream  I  first  sit  on  the  horse  side-saddle 
fashion,  like  a  circus  rider),  but  who  really  led  me  wherever 
she  wished,  like  the  horse  in  the  anecdote  about  the  Sunday 
equestrian.  Thus  the  horse  came  to  be  a  symbolic  representa- 
tion of  a  lady  patient  (in  the  dream  it  is  most  intelligent). 
"  I  feel  quite  at  home  up  here,"  refers  to  the  position  which  I 
occupied  in  the  patient's  household  until  I  was  replaced  by  my 
colleague  P.     "I    thought  you  were  securely  seated  in  the 

*  Of.  the  passage  in  Griesinger31  and  the  remarks  in  my  second  essay  on 
the  ""defence-neuropsychoses" — Selected  Papers  on  Hysteria,  translated  by 
A.  A.  Brill.  t  j        ,  y 


saddle,"  one  of  my  few  well-wishers  among  the  great  physicians 
of  this  city  recently  said  to  me  with  reference  to  the  same 
household.  And  it  was  a  feat  to  practise  psychotherapy  for 
ten  hours  a  day  with  such  pains,  but  I  know  that  I  cannot 
continue  my  particularly  difficult  work  for  any  length  of  time 
without  complete  physical  health,  and  the  dream  is  full  of 
gloomy  allusions  to  the  situation  which  must  in  that  case 
result  (the  card  such  as  neurasthenics  have  and  present  to 
doctors)  :  No  work  and  no  food.  With  further  interpretation 
I  see  that  the  dream  activity  has  succeeded  in  finding  the 
way  from  the  wish-situation  of  riding  to  very  early  infantile 
scenes  of  quarrelling,  which  must  have  taken  place  between 
me  and  my  nephew,  who  is  now  living  in  England,  and  who, 
moreover,  is  a  year  older  than  I.  Besides  it  has  taken  up 
elements  from  my  journeys  to  Italy  ;  the  street  in  the  dream 
is  composed  of  impressions  of  Verona  and  Siena.  Still  more 
exhaustive  interpretation  leads  to  sexual  dream-thoughts, 
and  I  recall  what  significance  dream  allusions  to  that  beautiful 
country  had  in  the  case  of  a  female  patient  who  had  never  been 
in  Italy  (Itlay — German  gen  Italien — Genitalien — genitals). 
At  the  same  time  there  are  references  to  the  house  in  which  I 
was  physician  before  my  friend  P.,  and  to  the  place  where  the 
furuncle  is  located. 

Among  the  dreams  mentioned  in  the  previous  chapter 
there  are  several  which  might  serve  as  examples  for  the  elabora- 
tion of  so-called  nerve  stimuli.  The  dream  about  drinking  in 
full  draughts  is  one  of  this  sort ;  the  somatic  excitement  in  it 
seems  to  be  the  only  source  of  the  dream,  and  the  wish  resulting 
from  the  sensation — thirst — the  only  motive  for  dreaming. 
Something  similar  is  true  of  the  other  simple  dreams,  if  the 
somatic  excitement  alone  is  capable  of  forming  a  wish.  The 
dream  of  the  sick  woman  who  throws  the  cooling  apparatus 
from  her  cheek  at  night  is  an  instance  of  a  peculiar  way  of 
reacting  to  painful  excitements  with  a  wish-fulfilment ;  it 
seems  as  though  the  patient  had  temporarily  succeeded  in 
making  herself  analgesic  by  ascribing  her  pains  to  a  stranger. 

My  dream  about  the  three  Parese  is  obviously  a  dream  of 
hunger,  but  it  has  found  means  to  refer  the  need  for  food  back 
to  the  longing  of  the  child  for  its  mother's  breast,  and  to  make 
the  harmless  desire  a  cloak  for  a  more  serious  one,  which  is 

THE    MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        197 

not  permitted  to  express  itself  so  openly.  In  the  dream  about 
Count  Thun  we  have  seen  how  an  accidental  bodily  desire  is 
brought  into  connection  with  the  strongest,  and  likewise  the 
most  strongly  suppressed  emotions  of  the  psychic  life.  And 
when  the  First  Consul  incorporates  the  sound  of  an  exploding 
bomb  into  a  dream  of  battle  before  it  causes  him  to  wake,  as 
in  the  case  reported  by  Gamier,  the  purpose  for  which  psychic 
activity  generally  concerns  itself  with  sensations  occurring 
during  sleep  is  revealed  with  extraordinary  clearness.  A  young 
lawyer,  who  has  been  deeply  preoccupied  with  his  first  great 
bankruptcy  proceeding,  and  who  goes  to  sleep  during  the 
afternoon  following,  acts  just  like  the  great  Napoleon.  He 
dreams  about  a  certain  G.  Reich  in  Hussiatyn  (German  husten — 
to  cough),  whom  he  knows  in  connection  with  the  bankruptcy 
proceeding,  but  Hussiatyn  forces  itself  upon  his  attention  still 
further,  with  the  result  that  he  is  obliged  to  awaken,  and  hears 
his  wife — who  is  suffering  from  bronchial  catarrh — coughing 

Let  us  compare  the  dream  of  Napoleon  I.,  who,  incidentally, 
was  an  excellent  sleeper,  with  that  of  the  sleepy  student,  who 
was  awakened  by  his  landlady  with  the  admonition  that  he 
must  go  to  the  hospital,  who  thereupon  dreams  himself  into 
a  bed  in  the  hospital,  and  then  sleeps  on,  with  the  following 
account  of  his  motives  :  If  I  am  already  in  the  hospital,  I 
shan't  have  to  get  up  in  order  to  go  there.  The  latter  is 
obviously  a  dream  of  convenience  ;  the  sleeper  frankly  admits 
to  himself  the  motive  for  his  dreaming ;  but  he  thereby 
reveals  one  of  the  secrets  of  dreaming  in  general.  In  a  certain 
sense  all  dreams  are  dreams  of  convenience  ;  they  serve  the 
purpose  of  continuing  sleep  instead  of  awakening.  The  dream 
is  the  guardian  of  sleep,  not  the  disturber  of  it.  We  shaE  justify 
this  conception  with  respect  to  the  psychic  factors  of  awakening 
elsewhere  ;  it  is  possible,  however,  at  this  point  to  prove  its 
applicability  to  the  influence  exerted  by  objective  external 
excitements.  Either  the  mind  does  not  concern  itself  at  all 
with  the  causes  of  sensations,  if  it  is  able  to  do  this  in  spite  of 
their  intensity  and  of  their  significance,  which  is  well  understood 
by  it ;  or  it  employs  the  dream  to  deny  these  stimuli  ;  or 
thirdly,  if  it  is  forced  to  recognise  the  stimulus,  it  seeks  to  find 
that  interpretation  of  the  stimulus  which  shall  represent  the 


actual  sensation  as  a  component  part  of  a  situation  which  is 
desired  and  which  is  compatible  with  sleep.  The  actual  sen- 
sation is  woven  into  the  dream  in  order  to  deprive  it  of  its 
reality.  Napoleon  is  permitted  to  go  on  sleeping  ;  it  is  only  a 
dream  recollection  of  the  thunder  of  the  cannon  at  Arcole 
which  is  trying  to  disturb  him.* 

The  wish  to  sleep,  by  which  the  conscious  ego  has  been  sus- 
pended and  which  along  with  the  dream-censor  contributes  its 
share  to  the  dream,  must  thus  always  be  taken  into  account  as  a 
motive  for  the  formation  of  dreams,  and  every  successful  dream 
is  a  fulfilment  of  this  wish.  The  relation  of  this  general,  re- 
gularly present,  and  invariable  sleep-wish  to  the  other  wishes, 
of  which  now  the  one,  now  the  other  is  fulfilled,  will  be  the 
subject  of  a  further  explanation.  In  the  wish  to  sleep  we 
have  discovered  a  factor  capable  of  supplying  the  deficiency 
in  the  theory  of  Strümpell  and  Wundt,  and  of  explaining  the 
perversity  and  capriciousness  in  the  interpretation  of  the 
outer  stimulus.  The  correct  interpretation,  of  which  the 
sleeping  mind  is  quite  capable,  would  imply  an  active  interest 
and  would  require  that  sleep  be  terminated  ;  hence,  of  those 
interpretations  which  are  possible  at  all,  only  those  are  ad- 
mitted which  are  agreeable  to  the  absolute  censorship  of  the 
somatic  wish.  It  is  something  like  this  :  It's  the  nightingale 
and  not  the  lark.  For  if  it's  the  lark,  love's  night  is  at  an 
end.  From  among  the  interpretations  of  the  excitement 
which  are  at  the  moment  possible,  that  one  is  selected  which 
can  secure  the  best  connection  with  the  wish-possibilities  that 
are  lying  in  wait  in  the  mind.  Thus  everything  is  definitely 
determined,  and  nothing  is  left  to  caprice.  The  misinter- 
pretation is  not  an  illusion,  but — if  you  will — an  excuse. 
Here  again,  however,  there  is  admitted  an  action  which  is  a 
modification  of  the  normal  psychic  procedure,  as  in  the  case 
where  substitution  by  means  of  displacement  is  effected  for 
the  purposes  of  the  dream-censor. 

If  the  outer  nerve  stimuli  and  inner  bodily  stimuli  are 
sufficiently  intense  to  compel  psychic  attention,  they  represent 
— that  is,  in  case  they  result  in  dreaming  and  not  in  awakening 
— a  definite  point  in  the  formation  of  dreams,  a  nucleus  in  the 

*  In  the  two  sources  from  which  I  am  acquainted  with  this  dream,  the 
report  of  its  contents  do  not  agree. 

THE    MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        199 

dream  material,  for  which  an  appropriate  wish-fulfilment  is 
sought,  in  a  way  similar  (see  above)  to  the  search  for  connecting 
ideas  between  two  dream  stimuli.  To  this  extent  it  is  true 
for  a  number  of  dreams  that  the  somatic  determines  what  their 
content  is  to  be.  In  this  extreme  case  a  wish  which  is  not 
exactly  actual  is  aroused  for  the  purpose  of  dream  formation. 
But  the  dream  can  do  nothing  but  represent  a  wish  in  a  situa- 
tion as  fulfilled ;  it  is,  as  it  were,  confronted  by  the  task  of 
seeking  what  wish  may  be  represented  and  fulfilled  by  means 
of  the  situation  which  is  now  actual.  Even  if  this  actual 
material  is  of  a  painful  or  disagreeable  character,  still  it  is  not 
useless  for  the  purposes  of  dream  formation.  The  psychic 
life  has  control  even  over  wishes  the  fulfilment  of  which  brings 
forth  pleasure — a  statement  which  seems  contradictory,  but 
which  becomes  intelligible  if  one  takes  into  account  the  presence 
of  two  psychic  instances  and  the  censor  existing  between 

There  are  in  the  psychic  life,  as  we  have  heard,  repressed 
wishes  which  belong  to  the  first  system,  and  to  whose  fulfilment 
the  second  system  is  opposed.  There  are  wishes  of  this  kind — 
and  we  do  not  mean  this  in  an  historic  sense,  that  there  have 
been  such  wishes  and  that  these  have  then  been  destroyed — 
but  the  theory  of  repression,  which  is  essential  to  the  study  of 
psychoneurosis,  asserts  that  such  repressed  wishes  still  exist, 
contemporaneously  with  an  inhibition  weighing  them  down. 
Language  has  hit  upon  the  truth  when  it  speaks  of  the  "  sup- 
pression "  of  such  impulses.  The  psychic  contrivance  for 
bringing  such  wishes  to  realisation  remains  preserved  and  in  a 
condition  to  be  used.  But  if  it  happens  that  such  a  suppressed 
wish  is  fulfilled,  the  vanquished  inhibition  of  the  second 
system  (which  is  capable  of  becoming  conscious)  is  then  ex- 
pressed as  a  painful  feeling.  To  close  this  discussion ;  if 
sensations  of  a  disagreeable  character  which  originate  from 
somatic  sources  are  presented  during  sleep,  this  constellation 
is  taken  advantage  of  by  the  dream  activity  to  represent  the 
fulfilment — with  more  or  less  retention  of  the  censor — of  an 
otherwise  suppressed  wish. 

This  condition  of  affairs  makes  possible  a  number  of  anxiety 
dreams,  while  another  series  of  the  dream  formations  which 
are   unfavourable    to   the   wish   theory   exhibits    a    different 


mechanism.  For  anxiety  in  dreams  may  be  of  a  psycho- 
neurotic nature,  or  it  may  originate  in  psychosexual  excite- 
ments, in  which  case  the  anxiety  corresponds  to  a  repressed 
libido.  Then  this  anxiety  as  well  as  the  whole  anxiety  dream 
has  the  significance  of  a  neurotic  symptom,  and  we  are  at  the 
dividing-line  where  the  wish-fulfilling  tendency  of  dreams 
disappears.  But  in  other  anxiety-dreams  the  feeling  of  anxiety 
comes  from  somatic  sources  (for  instance  in  the  case  of  persons 
suffering  from  pulmonary  or  heart  trouble,  where  there  is 
occasional  difficulty  in  getting  breath),  and  then  it  is  used  to 
aid  those  energetically  suppressed  wishes  in  attaining  fulfil- 
ment in  the  form  of  a  dream,  the  dreaming  of  which  from 
psychic  motives  would  have  resulted  in  the  same  release  of 
fear.  It  is  not  difficult  to  unite  these  two  apparently  dis- 
crepant cases.  Of  two  psychic  formations,  an  emotional 
inclination  and  an  ideal  content,  which  are  intimately  con- 
nected, the  one,  which  is  presented  as  actual,  supports  the 
other  in  the  dream  ;  now  anxiety  of  somatic  origin  supports 
the  suppressed  presentation  content,  now  the  ideal  content, 
which  is  freed  from  suppression,  and  which  proceeds  with  the 
impetus  given  by  sexual  emotion,  assists  the  discharge  of 
anxiety.  Of  the  one  case  it  may  be  said  that  an  emotion  of 
somatic  origin  is  psychically  interpreted  ;  in  the  other  case 
everything  is  of  psychic  origin  but  the  content  which  has  been 
suppressed  is  easily  replaced  by  a  somatic  interpretation  which 
is  suited  to  anxiety.  The  difficulties  which  lie  in  the  way  of 
understanding  all  this  have  little  to  do  with  the  dream  ;  they 
are  due  to  the  fact  that  in  discussing  these  points  we  are 
touching  upon  the  problems  of  the  development  of  anxiety 
and  of  repression. 

Undoubtedly  the  aggregate  of  bodily  feelings  is  to  be 
included  among  the  commanding  dream  stimuli  which  originate 
internally.  Not  that  it  is  able  to  furnish  the  dream  content, 
but  it  forces  the  dream  thoughts  to  make  a  choice  from  the 
material  destined  to  serve  the  purpose  of  representation  in  the 
dream  content ;  it  does  this  by  putting  within  easy  reach 
that  part  of  the  material  which  is  suited  to  its  own  character, 
while  withholding  the  other.  Moreover  this  general  feeling, 
which  is  left  over  from  the  day,  is  probably  connected  with  the 
psychic  remnants  which  are  significant  for  the  dream. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF  DREAMS        201 

If  somatic  sources  of  excitement  occurring  during  sleep — 
that  is,  the  sensations  of  sleep — are  not  of  unusual  intensity, 
they  play  a  part  in  the  formation  of  dreams  similar,  in  my 
judgment,  to  that  of  the  impressions  of  the  day  which  have 
remained  recent  but  indifferent.  I  mean  that  they  are  drawn 
into  the  dream  formation,  if  they  are  qualified  for  being  united 
with  the  presentation  content  of  the  psychic  dream-source, 
but  in  no  other  case.  They  are  treated  as  a  cheap  ever-ready 
material,  which  is  utilised  as  often  as  it  is  needed,  instead  of 
prescribing,  as  a  precious  material  does,  the  manner  in  which 
it  is  to  be  utilised.  The  case  is  similar  to  that  where  a  patron 
of  art  brings  to  an  artist  a  rare  stone,  a  fragment  of  onyx,  in 
order  that  a  work  of  art  may  be  made  of  it.  The  size  of  the 
stone,  its  colour,  and  its  marking  help  to  decide  what  bust  or 
what  scene  shall  be  represented  in  it,  while  in  the  case  where 
there  is  a  uniform  and  abundant  supply  of  marble  or  sandstone 
the  artist  follows  only  the  idea  which  takes  shape  in  his  mind. 
Only  in  this  manner,  it  seems  to  me,  is  the  fact  explicable 
that  the  dream  content  resulting  from  bodily  excitements 
that  have  not  been  accentuated  to  a  usual  degree,  does  not 
appear  in  all  dreams  and  during  every  night. 

Perhaps  an  example,  which  takes  us  back  to  the  interpreta- 
tion of  dreams,  will  best  illustrate  my  meaning.  One  day  I 
was  trying  to  understand  the  meaning  of  the  sensations  of 
being  impeded,  of  not  being  able  to  move  from  the  spot,  of 
not  being  able  to  get  finished,  &c,  which  are  dreamt  about  so 
often,  and  which  are  so  closely  allied  to  anxiety.  That  night 
I  had  the  following  dream  :  /  am  very  incompletely  dressed, 
and  I  go  from  a  dwelling  on  the  ground  floor  up  a  flight  of  stairs 
to  an  upper  story.  In  doing  this  I  jump  over  three  steps  at  a 
time,  and  I  am  glad  to  find  I  can  mount  the  steps  so  quickly. 
Suddenly  I  see  that  a  servant  girl  is  coming  down  the  stairs, 
that  is,  towards  me.  I  am  ashamed  and  try  to  hurry  away,  and 
now  there  appears  that  sensation  of  being  impeded ;  I  am  glued 
to  the  steps  and  cannot  move  from  the  spot. 

Analysis  :  The  situation  of  the  dream  is  taken  from  every- 
day reality.  In  a  house  in  Vienna  I  have  two  apartments, 
which  are  connected  only  by  a  flight  of  stairs  outside.  My 
consultation-rooms  and  my  study  are  on  an  elevated  portion 
of  the  ground  floor,  and  one  story  higher  are  my  living-rooms. 


When  I  have  finished  my  work  downstairs  late  at  night,  I 
go  up  the  steps  into  my  bedroom.  On  the  evening  before  the 
dream  I  had  actually  gone  this  short  distance  in  a  somewhat 
disorderly  attire — that  is  to  say,  I  had  taken  off  my  collar, 
cravat,  and  cuffs  ;  but  in  the  dream  this  has  changed  into  a 
somewhat  more  advanced  degree  of  undress,  which  as  usual 
is  indefinite.  Jumping  over  the  steps  is  my  usual  method  of 
mounting  stairs  ;  moreover  it  is  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish  that 
has  been  recognised  in  the  dream,  for  I  have  reassured  myself 
about  the  condition  of  my  heart  action  by  the  ease  of  this 
accomplishment.  Moreover  the  manner  in  which  I  climb  the 
stairs  is  an  effective  contrast  to  the  sensation  of  being  impeded 
which  occurs  in  the  second  half  of  the  dream.  It  shows  me — 
something  which  needed  no  proof — that  the  dream  has  no 
difficulty  in  representing  motor  actions  as  carried  out  fully 
and  completely  ;   think  of  flying  in  dreams  ! 

But  the  stairs  which  I  go  up  are  not  those  of  my  house  ;  at 
first  I  do  not  recognise  them  ;  only  the  person  coming  toward 
me  reveals  to  me  the  location  which  they  are  intended  to 
signify.  This  woman  is  the  maid  of  the  old  lady  whom  I 
visit  twice  daily  to  give  hypodermic  injections  ;  the  stairs, 
too,  are  quite  similar  to  those  which  I  must  mount  there  twice 

How  do  this  flight  of  stairs  and  this  woman  get  into  my 
dream  ?  Being  ashamed  because  one  is  not  fully  dressed,  is 
undoubtedly  of  a  sexual  character  ;  the  servant  of  whom  I 
dream  is  older  than  I,  sulky,  and  not  in  the  least  attractive. 
These  questions  call  up  exactly  the  following  occurrences  : 
When  I  make  my  morning  visit  at  this  house  I  am  usually 
seized  with  a  desire  to  clear  my  throat ;  the  product  of  the 
expectoration  falls  upon  the  steps.  For  there  is  no  spittoon 
on  either  of  these  floors,  and  I  take  the  view  that  the  stairs 
should  not  be  kept  clean  at  my  expense,  but  by  the  provision 
of  a  spittoon.  The  housekeeper,  likewise  an  elderly  and  sulky 
person,  with  instincts  for  cleanliness,  takes  another  view  of 
the  matter.  She  lies  in  wait  for  me  to  see  whether  I  take 
the  liberty  referred  to,  and  when  she  has  made  sure  of  it,  I 
hear  her  growl  distinctly.  For  days  thereafter  she  refuses  to 
show  me  her  customary  regard  when  we  meet.  On  the  day 
before  the  dream  the  position  of  the  housekeeper  had  been 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        203 

strengthened  by  the  servant  girl.  I  had  just  finished  my  usual 
hurried  visit  to  the  patient  when  the  servant  confronted  me  in 
the  ante-room  and  observed  :  "  You  might  as  well  have  wiped 
your  shoes  to-day,  doctor,  before  you  came  into  the  room. 
The  red  carpet  is  all  dirty  again  from  your  feet."  This  is  the 
whole  claim  which  the  flight  of  stairs  and  the  servant-girl 
can  make  for  appearing  in  my  dream. 

An  intimate  connection  exists  between  my  flying  over  the 
stairs  and  my  spitting  on  the  stairs.  Pharyngitis  and  diseases 
of  the  heart  are  both  said  to  be  punishments  for  the  vice  of 
smoking,  on  account  of  which  vice,  of  course,  I  do  not  enjoy  a 
reputation  for  great  neatness  with  my  housekeeper  in  the  one 
house  any  more  than  in  the  other,  both  of  which  the  dream 
fuses  into  a  single  image. 

I  must  postpone  the  further  interpretation  of  this  dream 
until  I  can  give  an  account  of  the  origm  of  the  typical  dream  of 
incomplete  dress.  I  only  note  as  a  prehminary  result  from 
the  dream  which  has  just  been  cited  that  the  dream  sensation 
of  inhibited  action  is  always  aroused  at  a  point  where  a  certain 
connection  requires  it.  A  peculiar  condition  of  my  motility 
during  sleep  cannot  be  the  cause  of  this  dream  content,  for  a 
moment  before  I  saw  myself  hurrying  over  the  steps  with  ease, 
as  though  in  confirmation  of  this  fact. 

(d)  Typical  Dreams 

In  general  we  are  not  in  a  position  to  interpret  the  dream  of 
another  person  if  he  is  unwilling  to  furnish  us  with  the  uncon- 
scious thoughts  which  lie  behind  the  dream  content,  and  for 
this  reason  the  practical  applicability  of  our  method  of  dream 
interpretation  is  seriously  curtailed.*  But  there  are  a  certain 
number  of  dreams — in  contrast  with  the  usual  freedom  dis- 
played by  the  individual  in  fashioning  his  dream  world  with 
characteristic  peculiarity,  and  thereby  making  it  unintelligible 
— which  almost  every  one  has  dreamed  in  the  same  manner, 
and  of  which  we  are  accustomed  to  assume  that  they  have 
the  same  significance  in  the  case  of  every  dreamer.     A  peculiar 

*  An  exception  is  furnished  by  those  cases  in  which  the  dreamer  utilises 
in  the  expression  of  his  latent  dream  thoughts  the  symbols  which  are 
familiar  to  us. 


interest  belongs  to  these  typical  dreams  for  the  reason  that 
they  probably  all  come  from  the  same  sources  with  every 
person,  that  they  are  thus  particularly  suited  to  give  us 
information  upon  the  sources  of  dreams. 

Typical  dreams  are  worthy  of  the  most  exhaustive  investi- 
gation. I  shall,  however,  only  give  a  somewhat  detailed  con- 
sideration to  examples  of  this  species,  and  for  this  purpose  I 
shall  first  select  the  so-called  embarrassment  dream  of  naked- 
ness, and  the  dream  of  the  death  of  dear  relatives. 

The  dream  of  being  naked  or  scantily  clad  in  the  presence 
of  strangers  occurs  with  the  further  addition  that  one  is  not 
at  all  ashamed  of  it,  &c.  But  the  dream  of  nakedness  is  worthy 
of  our  interest  only  when  shame  and  embarrassment  are  felt 
in  it,  when  one  wishes  to  flee  or  to  hide,  and  when  one  feels  the 
strange  inhibition  that  it  is  impossible  to  move  from  the  spot 
and  that  one  is  incapable  of  altering  the  disagreeable  situation. 
It  is  only  in  this  connection  that  the  dream  is  typical ;  the 
nucleus  of  its  content  may  otherwise  be  brought  into  all  kinds 
of  relations  or  may  be  replaced  by  individual  amplifications. 
It  is  essentially  a  question  of  a  disagreeable  sensation  of  the 
nature  of  shame,  the  wish  to  be  able  to  hide  one's  nakedness, 
chiefly  by  means  of  locomotion,  without  being  able  to  accom- 
plish this.  I  believe  that  the  great  majority  of  my  readers 
will  at  some  time  have  found  themselves  in  this  situation  in  a 

Usually  the  nature  and  maimer  of  the  experience  is  indis- 
tinct. It  is  usually  reported,  "  I  was  in  my  shirt,"  but  this 
is  rarely  a  clear  image  ;  in  most  cases  the  lack  of  clothing  is  so 
indeterminate  that  it  is  designated  in  the  report  of  the  dream 
by  a  set  of  alternatives  :  "I  was  in  my  chemise  or  in  my 
petticoat."  As  a  rule  the  deficiency  in  the  toilet  is  not  serious 
enough  to  justify  the  feeling  of  shame  attached  to  it.  For  a 
person  who  has  served  in  the  army,  nakedness  is  often  replaced 
by  a  mode  of  adjustment  that  is  contrary  to  regulations.  "  I 
am  on  the  street  without  my  sabre  and  I  see  officers  coming," 
or  "  I  am  without  my  necktie,"  or  "  I  am  wearing  checkered 
civilian's  trousers,"  &c. 

The  persons  before  whom  one  is  ashamed  are  almost  always 
strangers  with  faces  that  have  been  left  undetermined.  It 
never  occurs  in  the  typical  dream  that  one  is  reproved  or  even 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        205 

noticed  on  account  of  the  dress  which  causes  the  embarrass- 
ment to  one's  self.  Quite  on  the  contrary,  the  people  have  an 
air  of  indifference,  or,  as  I  had  opportunity  to  observe  in  a 
particularly  clear  dream,  they  look  stiffly  solemn.  This  is 
worth  thinking  about. 

The  shamed  embarrassment  of  the  dreamer  and  the  in- 
difference of  the  spectators  form  a  contradiction  which  often 
occurs  in  the  dream.  It  would  better  accord  with  the  feelings 
of  the  dreamer  if  the  strangers  looked  at  him  in  astonishment 
and  laughed  at  him,  or  if  they  grew  indignant.  I  think, 
however,  that  the  latter  unpleasant  feature  has  been  obviated 
by  the  tendency  to  wish-fulfilment,  while  the  embarrassment, 
being  retained  on  some  account  or  other,  has  been  left  standing, 
and  thus  the  two  parts  fail  to  agree.  We  have  interesting 
evidence  to  show  that  the  dream,  whose  appearance  has  been 
partially  disfigured  by  the  tendency  to  wish-fulfilment,  has  not 
been  properly  understood.  For  it  has  become  the  basis  of  a 
fairy  tale  familiar  to  us  all  in  Andersen's  version,*  and  it  has 
recently  received  poetic  treatment  by  L.  Fulda  in  the  Talisman. 
In  Andersen's  fairy  tale  we  are  told  of  two  impostors  who 
weave  a  costly  garment  for  the  Emperor,  which,  however,  shall 
be  visible  only  to  the  good  and  true.  The  Emperor  goes  forth 
clad  in  this  invisible  garment,  and,  the  fabric  serving  as  a  sort 
of  touchstone,  all  the  people  are  frightened  into  acting  as 
though  they  did  not  notice  the  nakedness  of  the  Emperor. 

But  such  is  the  situation  in  our  dream.  It  does  not  require 
great  boldness  to  assume  that  the  unintelligible  dream  content 
has  suggested  the  invention  of  a  state  of  undress  in  which  the 
situation  that  is  being  remembered  becomes  significant.  This 
situation  has  then  been  deprived  of  its  original  meaning,  and 
placed  at  the  service  of  other  purposes.  But  we  shall  see 
that  such  misunderstanding  of  the  dream  content  often  occurs 
on  account  of  the  conscious  activity  of  the  second  psychic 
system,  and  is  to  be  recognised  as  a  factor  in  the  ultimate 
formation  of  the  dream  ;  furthermore,  that  in  the  develop- 
ment of  the  obsessions  and  phobias  similar  misunderstandings, 
likewise  within  the  same  psychic  personality,  play  a  leading 
part.  The  source  from  which  in  our  dream  the  material 
for  this  transformation  is  taken  can  also  be  explained.  The 
*  "  The  Emperor's  New  Clothes." 


impostor  is  the  dream,  the  Emperor  is  the  dreamer  himself,  and 
the  moralising  tendency  betrays  a  hazy  knowledge  of  the  fact 
that  the  latent  dream  content  is  occupied  with  forbidden 
wishes  which  have  become  the  victims  of  repression.  The 
connection  in  which  such  dreams  appear  during  my  analysis 
of  neurotics  leaves  no  room  for  doubting  that  the  dream  is 
based  upon  a  recollection  from  earliest  childhood.  Only  in 
our  childhood  was  there  a  time  when  we  were  seen  by  our 
relatives  as  well  as  by  strange  nurses,  servant  girls,  and  visitors, 
in  scanty  clothing,  and  at  that  time  we  were  not  ashamed  of 
our  nakedness.* 

It  may  be  observed  in  the  case  of  children  who  are  a  little 
older  that  being  undressed  has  a  kind  of  intoxicating  effect 
upon  them,  instead  of  making  them  ashamed.  They  laugh, 
jump  about,  and  strike  their  bodies  ;  the  mother,  or  whoever 
is  present,  forbids  them  to  do  this,  and  says  :  "  Fie,  that  is 
shameful — you  mustn't  do  that."  Children  often  show  ex- 
hibitional  cravings  ;  it  is  hardly  possible  to  go  through  a 
village  in  our  part  of  the  country  without  meeting  a  two  or 
three-year-old  tot  who  lifts  up  his  or  her  shirt  before  the 
traveller,  perhaps  in  his  honour.  One  of  my  patients  has 
reserved  in  his  conscious  memory  a  scene  from  the  eighth  year 
of  his  life  in  which  he  had  just  undressed  previous  to  going  to 
bed,  and  was  about  to  dance  into  the  room  of  his  little  sister 
in  his  undershirt  when  the  servant  prevented  his  doing  it. 
In  the  childhood  history  of  neurotics,  denudation  in  the 
presence  of  children  of  the  opposite  sex  plays  a  great  part ;  in 
paranoia  the  desire  to  be  observed  while  dressing  and  un- 
dressing may  be  directly  traced  to  these  experiences  ;  among 
those  remaining  perverted  there  is  a  class  which  has  accen- 
tuated the  childish  impulse  to  a  compulsion — they  are  the 

This  age  of  childhood  in  which  the  sense  of  shame  is  lacking 
seems  to  our  later  recollections  a  Paradise,  and  Paradise  itself 
is  nothing  but  a  composite  phantasy  from  the  childhood  of 
the  individual.  It  is  for  this  reason,  too,  that  in  Paradise 
human  beings  are  naked  and  are  not  ashamed  until  the  moment 
arrives  when  the  sense  of  shame  and  of  fear  are  aroused  ;    ex- 

*  The  child  also  appears  in  the  fairy  tale,  for  there  a  child  suddenly 
calls  :  "  Why,  he  hasn't  anything  on  at  all." 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         207 

pulsion  follows,  and  sexual  life  and  cultural  development 
begin.  Into  this  Paradise  the  dream  can  take  us  back  every 
night ;  we  have  already  ventured  the  conjecture  that  the 
impressions  from  earliest  childhood  (from  the  prehistoric 
period  until  about  the  end  of  the  fourth  year)  in  themselves, 
and  independently  of  everything  else,  crave  reproduction, 
perhaps  without  further  reference  to  their  content,  and  that 
the  repetition  of  them  is  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish.  Dreams  of 
nakedness,  then,  are  exhibition  dreams.* 

One's  own  person,  which  is  seen  not  as  that  of  a  child,  but 
as  belonging  to  the  present,  and  the  idea  of  scanty  clothing, 
which  became  buried  beneath  so  many  later  nfyligSe  recollec- 
tions or  because  of  the  censor,  turns  out  to  be  obscure — these 
two  things  constitute  the  nucleus  of  the  exhibition  dream. 
Next  come  the  persons  before  whom  one  is  ashamed.  I 
know  of  no  example  where  the  actual  spectators  at  those 
infantile  exhibitions  reappear  in  the  dream.  For  the  dream 
is  hardly  ever  a  simple  recollection.  Strangely  enough,  those 
persons  who  are  the  objects  of  our  sexual  interest  during  child- 
hood are  omitted  from  all  the  reproductions  of  the  dream,  of 
hysteria,  and  of  the  compulsion  neurosis ;  paranoia  alone 
puts  the  spectators  back  into  their  places,  and  is  fanatically 
convinced  of  their  presence,  although  they  remain  invisible. 
What  the  dream  substitutes  for  these,  the  "  many  strange 
peor)le, "  who  take  no  notice  of  the  spectacle  which  is  presented, 
is  exactly  the  wish-opposite  of  that  single,  intimate  person  for 
whom  the  exposure  was  intended.  "  Many  strange  people," 
moreover,  are  often  found  in  the  dream  in  any  other  favourable 
connection ;  as  a  wish-opposite  they  a] ways  signify  "  a  secret."  | 
It  may  be  seen  how  the  restoration  of  the  old  condition  of 
affairs,  as  it  occurs  in  paranoia,  is  subject  to  this  antithesis. 
One  is  no  longer  alone.  One  is  certainly  being  watched,  but 
the  spectators  are  "  many  strange,  curiously  indeterminate 

Furthermore,    repression   has   a   place   in   the    exhibition 

*  Ferenczi  has  reported  a  number  of  interesting  dreams  of  nakedness 
in  women  which  could  be  traced  to  an  infantile  desire  to  exhibit,  but  which 
differ  in  some  features  from  the  "  typical "  dream  of  nakedness  discussed 

t  For  obvious  reasons  the  presence  of  the  "whole  family"  in  the  dream 
has  the  same  significance. 


dream.  For  the  disagreeable  sensation  of  the  dream  is 
the  reaction  of  the  second  psychic  instance  to  the  fact 
that  the  exhibition  scene  which  has  been  rejected  by  it 
has  in  spite  of  this  succeeded  in  securing  representation. 
The  only  way  to  avoid  this  sensation  would  be  not  to  revive 
the  scene. 

Later  on  we  shall  again  deal  with  the  sensation  of  being 
inhibited.  It  serves  the  dream  excellently  in  representing 
the  conflict  of  the  will,  the  negation.  According  to  our  un- 
conscious purpose  exhibition  is  to  be  continued ;  according  to 
the  demands  of  the  censor,  it  is  to  be  stopped. 

The  relation  of  our  typical  dreams  to  fairy  tales  anbl  to 
other  poetic  material  is  neither  a  sporadic  nor  an  accidental 
one.  Occasionally  the  keen  insight  of  a  poet  has  analytically 
recognised  the  transforming  process  —  of  which  the  poet  is 
usually  the  tool — and  has  followed  it  backwards,  that  is  to 
say,  traced  it  to  the  dream.  A  friend  has  called  my  attention 
to  the  following  passage  in  G.  Keller's  Der  Grüne  Heinrich  : 
"  I  do  not  wish,  dear  Lee,  that  you  should  ever  come  to  realise 
from  experience  the  peculiar  piquant  truth  contained  in  the 
situation  of  Odysseus,  when  he  appears  before  Nausikaa  and 
her  playmates,  naked  and  covered  with  mud  !  Would  you 
like  to  know  what  it  means  ?  Let  us  consider  the  incident 
closely.  If  you  are  ever  separated  from  your  home,  and  from 
everything  that  is  dear  to  you,  and  wander  about  in  a  strange 
country,  when  you  have  seen  and  experienced  much,  when  you 
have  cares  and  sorrows,  and  are,  perhaps,  even  miserable  and 
forlorn,  you  will  some  night  inevitably  dream  that  you  are 
approaching  your  home  ;  you  will  see  it  shining  and  beaming 
in  the  most  beautiful  colours  ;  charming,  delicate  and  lovely 
figures  will  come  to  meet  you  ;  and  you  will  suddenly  discover 
that  you  are  going  about  in  rags,  naked  and  covered  with  dust. 
A  nameless  feeling  of  shame  and  fear  seizes  you,  you  try  to 
cover  yourself  and  to  hide,  and  you  awaken  bathed  in  sweat. 
As  long  as  men  exist,  this  will  be  the  dream  of  the  care-laden, 
fortune-battered  man,  and  thus  Homer  has  taken  his  situation 
from  the  profoundest  depths  of  the  eternal  character  of 

This  profound  and  eternal  character  of  humanity,  upon 
the  touching  of  which  in  his  listeners  the  poet  usually  calculates, 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        209 

is  made  up  of  the  stirrings  of  the  spirit  which  are  rooted  in 
childhood,  in  the  period  which  later  becomes  prehistoric. 
Suppressed  and  forbidden  wishes  of  childhood  break  forth 
under  cover  of  those  wishes  of  the  homeless  man  which  are 
unobjectionable  and  capable  of  becoming  conscious,  and  for 
that  reason  the  dream  which  is  made  objective  in  the  legend 
of  Nausikaa  regularly  assumes  the  form  of  a  dream  of 

My  own  dream,  mentioned  on  p.  201,  of  hurrying  up  the 
stairs,  which  is  soon  afterward  changed  into  that  of  being  glued 
to  the  steps,  is  likewise  an  exhibition  dream,  because  it  shows 
the  essential  components  of  such  a  dream.  It  must  thus 
permit  of  being  referred  to  childish  experiences,  and  the 
possession  of  these  ought  to  tell  us  how  far  the  behaviour  of 
the  servant  girl  towards  me — her  reproach  that  I  had  soiled 
the  carpet — helped  her  to  secure  the  position  which  she  occupies 
in  the  dream.  I  am  now  able  to  furnish  the  desired  explana- 
tion. One  learns  in  psychoanalysis  to  interpret  temporal 
proximity  by  objective  connection  ;  two  thoughts,  apparently 
without  connection,  which  immediately  follow  one  another, 
belong  to  a  unity  which  can  be  inferred  ;  just  as  an  a  and  a  t, 
which  I  write  down  together,  should  be  pronounced  as  one 
syllable,  at.  The  same  is  true  of  the  relation  of  dreams  to  one 
another.  The  dream  just  cited,  of  the  stairs,  has  been  taken 
from  a  series  of  dreams,  whose  other  members  I  am  familiar 
with  on  account  of  having  interpreted  them.  The  dream  which 
is  included  in  this  series  must  belong  to  the  same  connection. 
Now  the  other  dreams  of  the  series  are  based  upon  the  recol- 
lection of  a  nurse  to  whom  I  was  entrusted  from  some  time  in 
the  period  when  I  was  suckling  to  the  age  of  two  and  a  half 
years,  and  of  whom  a  hazy  recollection  has  remained  in  my 
consciousness.  According  to  information  which  I  have  re- 
cently obtained  from  my  mother,  she  was  old  and  ugly,  but 
very  intelligent  and  thorough  ;  according  to  inferences  which 
I  may  draw  from  my  dreams,  she  did  not  always  give  me  the 
kindest  treatment,  and  said  hard  words  to  me  when  I  showed 
insufficient  aptitude  for  education  in  cleanliness.  Thus  by 
attempting  to  continue  this  educational  work  the  servant 
girl  develops  a  claim  to  be  treated  by  me,  in  the  dream,  as  an 
incarnation  of  the  prehistoric  old  woman.     It  is  to  be  assumed 



that  the  child  bestowed  his  love  upon  this  governess  in  spite 
of  her  bad  treatment  of  him.* 

Another  series  of  dreams  which  might  be  called  typical  are 
those  which  have  the  content  that  a  dear  relative,  parent, 
brother,  or  sister,  child  or  the  like,  has  died.  Two  classes  of 
these  dreams  must  immediately  be  distinguished — those  in 
which  the  dreamer  remains  unaffected  by  sorrow  while  dream- 
ing, and  those  in  which  he  feels  profound  grief  on  account  of 
the  death,  in  which  he  even  expresses  this  grief  during  sleep 
by  fervid  tears. 

We  may  ignore  the  dreams  of  the  first  group  ;  they  have 
no  claim  to  be  reckoned  as  typical.  If  they  are  analysed,  it  is 
found  that  they  signify  something  else  than  what  they  contain, 
that  they  are  intended  to  cover  up  some  other  wish.  Thus  it 
is  with  the  dream  of  the  aunt  who  sees  the  only  son  of  her 
sister  lying  on  a  bier  before  her  (p  129).  This  does  not  signify 
that  she  wishes  the  death  of  her  little  nephew  ;  it  only  con- 
ceals, as  we  have  learned,  a  wish  to  see  a  beloved  person  once 
more  after  long  separation — the  same  person  whom  she  had 
seen  again  after  a  similar  long  intermission  at  the  funeral  of 
another  nephew.  This  wish,  which  is  the  real  content  of 
the  dream,  gives  no  cause  for  sorrow,  and  for  that  reason  no 
sorrow  is  felt  in  the  dream.  It  may  be  seen  in  this  case  that 
the  emotion  which  is  contained  in  the  dream  does  not  belong 
to  the  manifest  content  of  the  dream,  but  to  the  latent  one, 
and  that  the  emotional  content  has  remained  free  from  the 
disfigurement  which  has  befallen  the  presentation  content. 

It  is  a  different  story  with  the  dreams  in  which  the  death 
of  a  beloved  relative  is  imagined  and  where  sorrowful  emotion 
is  felt.  These  signify,  as  their  content  says,  the  wish  that  the 
person  in  question  may  die,  and  as  I  may  here  expect  that  the 
feelings  of  all  readers  and  of  all  persons  who  have  dreamt 
anything  similar  will  object  to  my  interpretation,  I  must 
strive  to  present  my  proof  on  the  broadest  possible  basis. 

We  have  already  had  one  example  to  show  that  the  wishes 

*  A  supplementary  interpretation  of  this  dream  :  To  spit  on  the  stairs, 
led  me  to  "esprit  d'escalier"  by  a  free  translation,  owing  to  the  fact  that 
"  Spucken  "  (English  :  spit,  and  also  to  act  like  a  spoolc,  to  haunt)  is  an  occu- 
pation of  ghosts.  "  Stair-wit "  is  ecpiivalent  to  lack  of  quickness  at  repartee 
(German  :  Schlagerfert/igheit — readiness  to  hit  back,  to  strike),  with  which  I 
must  really  reproach  myself.  Is  it  a  question,  however,  whether  the  nurse 
was  lacking  in  "  readiness  to  hit "  ? 

THE   MATERIAL   OF  DREAMS        211 

represented  in  the  dream  as  fulfilled  are  not  always  actual 
wishes.  They  may  also  be  dead,  discarded,  covered,  and  re- 
pressed wishes,  which  we  must  nevertheless  credit  with  a  sort 
of  continuous  existence  on  account  of  their  reappearance  in 
the  dream.  They  are  not  dead  like  persons  who  have  died  in 
our  sense,  but  they  resemble  the  shades  in  the  Odyssey  which 
awaken  a  certain  kind  of  life  as  soon  as  they  have  drunk  blood. 
In  the  dream  of  the  dead  child  in  the  box  (p.  130)  we  were 
concerned  with  a  wish  that  had  been  actual  fifteen  years 
before,  and  which  had  been  frankly  admitted  from  that  time. 
It  is,  perhaps,  not  unimportant  from  the  point  of  view  of  dream 
theory  if  I  add  that  a  recollection  from  earliest  childhood  is  at 
the  basis  even  of  this  dream.  While  the  dreamer  was  a  little 
child — it  cannot  be  definitely  determined  at  what  time — she 
had  heard  that  during  pregnancy  of  which  she  was  the  fruit 
her  mother  had  fallen  into  a  profound  depression  of  spirits 
and  had  passionately  wished  for  the  death  of  her  child  before 
birth.  Having  grown  up  herself  and  become  pregnant,  she 
now  follows  the  example  of  her  mother. 

If  some  one  dreams  with  expressions  of  grief  that  his 
father  or  mother,  his  brother  or  sister,  has  died,  I  shall  not 
use  the  dream  as  a  proof  that  he  wishes  them  dead  now. 
The  theory  of  the  dreams  does  not  require  so  much  ;  it  is 
satisfied  with  concluding  that  the  dreamer  has  wished  them 
dead — at  some  one  time  in  childhood.  I  fear,  however,  that 
this  limitation  will  not  contribute  much  to  quiet  the  objectors  ; 
they  might  just  as  energetically  contest  the  possibility  that 
they  have  ever  had  such  thoughts  as  they  are  sure  that  they 
do  not  cherish  such  wishes  at  present.  I  must,  therefore, 
reconstruct  a  part  of  the  submerged  infantile  psychology  on 
the  basis  of  the  testimony  which  the  present  still  furnishes.* 

Let  us  at  first  consider  the  relation  of  children  to  their 
brothers  and  sisters.  I  do  not  know  why  we  presuppose  that 
it  must  be  a  loving  one,  since  examples  of  brotherly  and  sisterly 
enmity  among  adults  force  themselves  upon  every  one's  ex- 
perience, and  since  we  so  often  know  that  this  estrangement 
originated  even  during  childhood  or  has  always  existed.     But 

*  Gf.  "  Analyse  der  Phobie  eines  fünfjährigen  Knaben  "  in  the  Jahrbuch 
für  psychoanalytische  und  psychopathologische  Forschungen,  vol.  i.,  1909,  and 
"  Ueber  infantile  Sexualtheorien,"  in  Sexualprobleme,  vol.  i.,  1908. 


many  grown-up  people,  who  to-day  are  tenderly  attached  to 
their  brothers  and  sisters  and  stand  by  them,  have  lived  with 
them  during  childhood  in  almost  uninterrupted  hostility. 
The  older  child  has  ill-treated  the  younger,  slandered  it,  and 
deprived  it  of  its  toys  ;  the  younger  has  been  consumed  by 
helpless  fury  against  the  elder,  has  envied  it  and  feared  it, 
or  its  first  impulse  toward  liberty  and  first  feelings  of  injustice 
have  been  directed  against  the  oppressor.  The  parents  say 
that  the  children  do  not  agree,  and  cannot  find  the  reason  for 
it.  It  is  not  difficult  to  see  that  the  character  even  of  a  well- 
behaved  child  is  not  what  we  wish  to  find  in  a  grown-up  person. 
The  child  is  absolutely  egotistical ;  it  feels  its  wants  acutely 
and  strives  remorselessly  to  satisfy  them,  especially  with  its 
competitors,  other  children,  and  in  the  first  instance  with  its 
brothers  and  sisters.  For  doing  this  we  do  not  call  the  child 
wicked — we  call  it  naughty  ;  it  is  not  responsible  for  its  evil 
deeds  either  in  our  judgment  or  in  the  eyes  of  the  penal  law. 
And  this  is  justifiably  so  ;  for  we  may  expect  that  within 
this  very  period  of  life  which  we  call  childhood,  altruistic 
impulses  and  morality  will  come  to  life  in  the  little  egotist, 
and  that,  in  the  words  of  Meynert,  a  secondary  ego  will  overlay 
and  restrain  the  primary  one.  It  is  true  that  morality  does 
not  develop  simultaneously  in  all  departments,  and  further- 
more, the  duration  of  the  unmoral  period  of  childhood  is  of 
different  length  in  different  individuals.  In  cases  where  the 
development  of  this  morality  fails  to  appear,  we  are  pleased 
to  talk  about  "  degeneration  "  ;  they  are  obviously  cases  of 
arrested  development.  Where  the  primary  character  has 
already  been  covered  up  by  later  development,  it  may  be  at 
least  partially  uncovered  again  by  an  attack  of  hysteria.  The 
correspondence  between  the  so-called  hysterical  character 
and  that  of  a  naughty  child  is  strikingly  evident.  A  com- 
pulsion neurosis,  on  the  other  hand,  corresponds  to  a  super- 
morality,  imposed  upon  the  primary  character  that  is  again 
asserting  itself,  as  an  increased  check. 

Many  persons,  then,  who  love  their  brothers  and  sisters, 
and  who  would  feel  bereaved  by  their  decease,  have  evil  wishes 
towards  them  from  earlier  times  in  their  unconscious  wishes, 
which  are  capable  of  being  realised  in  the  dream.  It  is 
particularly  interesting  to  observe  little  children  up  to  three 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        213 

years  old  in  their  attitude  towards  their  brothers  and  sisters. 
So  far  the  child  has  been  the  only  one  ;  he  is  now  informed  that 
the  stork  has  brought  a  new  child.  The  younger  surveys  the 
arrival,  and  then  expresses  his  opinion  decidedly  :  "  The  stork 
had  better  take  it  back  again."  * 

I  subscribe  in  all  seriousness  to  the  opinion  that  the  child 
knows  enough  to  calculate  the  disadvantage  it  has  to  expect 
on  account  of  the  new-comer.  I  know  in  the  case  of  a  lady  of 
my  acquaintance  who  agrees  very  well  with  a  sister  four  years 
younger  than  herself,  that  she  responded  to  the  news  of  her 
younger  sister's  arrival  with  the  following  words  :  "  But  I 
shan't  give  her  my  red  cap,  anyway."  If  the  child  comes  to 
this  realisation  only  at  a  later  time,  its  enmity  will  be  aroused 
at  that  point.  I  know  of  a  case  where  a  girl,  not  yet  three 
years  old,  tried  to  strangle  a  suckling  in  the  cradle,  because 
its  continued  presence,  she  suspected,  boded  her  no  good. 
Children  are  capable  of  envy  at  this  time  of  life  in  all  its  in- 
tensity and  distinctness.  Again,  perhaps,  the  little  brother  or 
sister  has  really  soon  disappeared ;  the  child  has  again  drawn 
the  entire  affection  of  the  household  to  itself,  and  then  a  new 
child  is  sent  by  the  stork  ;  is  it  then  unnatural  for  the  favourite 
to  wish  that  the  new  competitor  may  have  the  same  fate  as 
the  earlier  one,  in  order  that  he  may  be  treated  as  well  as  he 
was  before  during  the  interval  ?  Of  course  this  attitude  of 
the  child  towards  the  younger  infant  is  under  normal  circum- 
stances a  simple  function  of  the  difference  of  age.  After  a 
certain  time  the  maternal  instincts  of  the  girl  will  be  excited 
towards  the  helpless  new-born  child. 

Feelings  of  enmity  towards  brothers  and  sisters  must  occur 
far  more  frequently  during  the  age  of  childhood  than  is  noted 
by  the  dull  observation  of  adults. 

In  case  of  my  own  children,  who  followed  one  another 
rapidly,  I  missed  the  opportunity  to  make  such  observations  ; 
I  am  now  retrieving  it  through  my  little  nephew,  whose  com- 
plete domination  was  disturbed  after  fifteen  months  by  the 

*  The  three-and-a-half-year-old  Hans,  whose  phobia  is  the  subject  of 
analysis  in  the  above-mentioned  publication,  cries  during  fever  shortly  after 
the  birth  of  his  sister :  "  I  don't  want  a  little  sister."  In  his  neurosis,  one 
and  a  half  years  later,  he  frankly  confesses  the  wish  that  the  mother  should 
drop  the  little  one  into  the  bath-tub  while  bathing  it,  in  order  that  it  may  die. 
With  all  this,  Hans  is  a  good-natured,  affectionate  child,  wiio  soon  becomes 
fond  of  his  sister,  and  likes  especially  to  take  her  under  his  protectiou. 


arrival  of  a  female  competitor.  I  hear,  it  is  true,  that  the 
young  man  acts  very  chivalrously  towards  his  little  sister,  that 
he  kisses  her  hand  and  pets  her  ;  but  in  spite  of  this  I  have 
convinced  myself  that  even  before  the  completion  of  his 
second  year  he  is  using  his  new  facility  in  language  to  criticise 
this  person  who  seems  superfluous  to  him.  Whenever  the 
conversation  turns  upon  her,  he  chimes  in  and  cries  angrily  : 
"  Too  (l)ittle,  too  (l)ittle."  During  the  last  few  months,  since 
the  child  has  outgrown  this  unfavourable  criticism,  owing  to 
its  splendid  development,  he  has  found  another  way  of  justify- 
ing his  insistence  that  she  does  not  deserve  so  much  attention. 
On  all  suitable  occasions  he  reminds  us,  "  She  hasn't  any 
teeth."  *  We  have  all  preserved  the  recollection  of  the  eldest 
daughter  of  another  sister  of  mine — how  the  child  which  was 
at  that  time  six  years  old  sought  assurance  from  one  aunt 
after  another  for  an  hour  and  a  half  with  the  question  :  "  Lucy 
can't  understand  that  yet,  can  she  ?  "  Lucy  was  the  com- 
petitor, two  and  a  half  years  younger. 

I  have  never  failed  in  any  of  my  female  patients  to  find 
this  dream  of  the  death  of  brothers  and  sisters  denoting 
exaggerated  hostility.  I  have  met  with  only  one  exception, 
which  could  easily  be  reinterpreted  into  a  confirmation  of  the 
rule.  Once  in  the  course  of  a  sitting  while  I  was  explaining 
this  condition  of  affairs  to  a  lady,  as  it  seemed  to  have  a  bear- 
ing upon  the  symptoms  under  consideration,  she  answered,  to 
my  astonishment,  that  she  had  never  had  such  dreams.  How- 
ever, she  thought  of  another  dream  which  supposedly  had 
nothing  to  do  with  the  matter — a  dream  which  she  had  first 
dreamed  at  the  age  of  four,  when  she  was  the  youngest  child, 
and  had  since  dreamed  repeatedly.  "  A  great  number  of 
children,  all  of  them  the  dreamer's  brothers  and  sisters,  and 
male  and  female  cousins,  were  romping  about  in  a  meadow. 
Suddenly  they  all  got  wings,  flew  up,  and  were  gone."  She 
had  no  idea  of  the  significance  of  the  dream  ;  but  it  will  not 
be  difficult  for  us  to  recognise  it  as  a  dream  of  the  death  of  all 
the  brothers  and  sisters,  in  its  original  form,  and  little  in- 
fluenced by  the  censor.  I  venture  to  insert  the  following 
interpretation  :   At  the  death  of  one  out  of  a  large  number  of 

*  The  three-and-a-half-year  old  Hans  embodies  his  crushing  criticism  of 
his  little  sister  in  the  identical  word  (see  previous  notes).  He  assumes  that 
she  ia  unable  to  speak  on  account  of  her  lack  of  teeth. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        215 

children — in  this  case  the  children  of  two  brothers  were  brought 
up  in  common  as  brothers  and  sisters — is  it  not  probable  that 
our  dreamer,  at  that  time  not  yet  four  years  old,  asked  a  wise, 
grown-up  person  :  "  What  becomes  of  children  when  they 
are  dead  ?  "  The  answer  probably  was  :  "  They  get  wings 
and  become  angels."  According  to  this  explanation  all  the 
brothers  and  sisters  and  cousins  in  the  dream  now  have  wings 
like  angels  and — this  is  the  important  thing — they  fly  away. 
Our  little  angel-maker  remains  alone,  think  of  it,  the  only 
one  after  such  a  multitude  !  The  feature  that  the  children 
are  romping  about  on  a  meadow  points  with  little  ambiguity 
to  butterflies,  as  though  the  child  had  been  led  by  the  same 
association  which  induced  the  ancients  to  conceive  Psyche 
as  having  the  wings  of  a  butterfly. 

Perhaps  some  one  will  now  object  that,  although  the  inimical 
impulses  of  children  towards  their  brothers  and  sisters  may 
well  enough  be  admitted,  how  does  the  childish  disposition 
arrive  at  such  a  height  of  wickedness  as  to  wish  death  to  a 
competitor  or  stronger  playmate,  as  though  all  transgressions 
could  be  atoned  for  only  by  the  death-punishment  ?  Whoever 
talks  in  this  manner  forgets  that  the  childish  idea  of  "  being 
dead  "  has  little  else  but  the  words  in  common  with  our  own. 
The  child  knows  nothing  of  the  horrors  of  decay,  of  shivering 
in  the  cold  grave,  of  the  terror  of  the  infinite  Nothing,  which 
the  grown-up  person,  as  all  the  myths  concerning  the  Great 
Beyond  testify,  finds  it  so  hard  to  bear  in  his  conception.  Fear 
of  death  is  strange  to  the  child  ;  therefore  it  plays  with  the 
horrible  word  and  threatens  another  child  :  "If  you  do  that 
again  you  will  die,  as  Francis  died,"  whereat  the  poor  mother 
shudders,  for  perhaps  she  cannot  forget  that  the  great  majority 
of  mortals  do  not  succeed  in  living  beyond  the  years  of  child- 
hood. It  is  still  possible,  even  for  a  child  eight  years  old,  on 
returning  from  a  museum  of  natural  history,  to  say  to  its 
mother  :  "  Mamma,  I  love  you  so  ;  if  you  ever  die,  I  am  going 
to  have  you  stuffed  and  set  you  up  here  in  the  room  so  I  can 
always,  always  see  you  !  "  So  little  does  the  childish  conception 
of  being  dead  resemble  our  own.* 

*  I  heard  the  following  idea  expressed  by  a  gifted  boy  of  ten,  after  the 
sudden  death  of  his  father  :  "  I  understand  that  father  is  dead,  but  I  cannot 
see  why  he  does  not  come  home  for  supper." 


Being  dead  means  for  the  child,  which  has  been  spared 
the  scenes  of  suffering  previous  to  dying,  the  same  as  "  being 
gone,"  not  disturbing  the  survivors  any  more.  The  child 
does  not  distinguish  the  manner  and  means  by  which  this 
absence  is  brought  about,  whether  by  travelling,  estrangement, 
or  death.  If,  during  the  prehistoric  years  of  a  child,  a  nurse 
has  been  sent  away  and  its  mother  has  died  a  short  while 
after,  the  two  experiences,  as  is  revealed  by  analysis,  overlap 
in  his  memory.  The  fact  that  the  child  does  not  miss  very 
intensely  those  who  are  absent  has  been  realised  by  many  a 
mother  to  her  sorrow,  after  she  has  returned  home  after  a 
summer  journey  of  several  weeks,  and  has  been  told  upon 
inquiry  :  "  The  children  have  not  asked  for  their  mother  a 
single  time."  But  if  she  really  goes  to  that  "  undiscovered 
country  from  whose  bourn  no  traveller  returns,"  the  children 
seem  at  first  to  have  forgotten  her,  and  begin  only  subsequently 
to  remember  the  dead  mother. 

If,  then,  the  child  has  motives  for  wishing  the  absence  of 
another  child,  every  restraint  is  lacking  which  would  prevent 
it  from  clothing  this  wish  in  the  form  that  the  child  may  die, 
and  the  psychic  reaction  to  the  dream  of  wishing  death  proves 
that,  in  spite  of  all  the  differences  in  content,  the  wish  in  the 
case  of  the  child  is  somehow  or  other  the  same  as  it  is  with 

If  now  the  death-wish  of  the  child  towards  its  brothers  and 
sisters  has  been  explained  by  the  childish  egotism,  which  causes 
the  child  to  regard  its  brothers  and  sisters  as  competitors, 
how  may  we  account  for  the  same  wish  towards  parents,  who 
bestow  love  on  the  child  and  satisfy  its  wants,  and  whose  pre- 
servation it  ought  to  desire  from  these  very  egotistical  motives  ? 

In  the  solution  of  this  difficulty  we  are  aided  by  the  experi- 
ence that  dreams  of  the  death  of  parents  predominantly  refer 
to  that  member  of  the  parental  couple  which  shares  the  sex 
of  the  dreamer,  so  that  the  man  mostly  dreams  of  the  death  of 
his  father,  the  woman  of  the  death  of  her  mother.  I  cannot 
claim  that  this  happens  regularly,  but  the  predominating 
occurrence  of  this  dream  in  the  manner  indicated  is  so  evident 
that  it  must  be  explained  through  some  factor  that  is  uni- 
versally operative.  To  express  the  matter  boldly,  it  is  as 
though  a  sexual  preference  becomes  active  at  an  early  period, 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        217 

as  though  the  boy  regards  his  father  as  a  rival  in  love,  and  as 
though  the  girl  takes  the  same  attitude  toward  her  mother — 
a  rival  by  getting  rid  of  whom  he  or  she  cannot  but  profit. 

Before  rejecting  this  idea  as  monstrous,  let  the  reader 
consider  the  actual  relations  between  parents  and  children. 
What  the  requirements  of  culture  and  piety  demand  of  this 
relation  must  be  distinguished  from  what  daily  observation 
shows  us  to  be  the  fact.  More  than  one  cause  for  hostile 
feeling  is  concealed  within  the  relations  between  parents  and 
children  ;  the  conditions  necessary  for  the  actuation  of  wishes 
which  cannot  exist  in  the  presence  of  the  censor  are  most 
abundantly  provided.  Let  us  dwell  at  first  upon  the  relation 
between  father  and  son.  I  believe  that  the  sanctity  which  we 
have  ascribed  to  the  injunction  of  the  decalogue  dulls  our 
perception  of  reality.  Perhaps  we  hardly  dare  to  notice  that 
the  greater  part  of  humanity  neglects  to  obey  the  fifth 
commandment.  In  the  lowest  as  well  as  in  the  highest  strata  of 
human  society,  piety  towards  parents  is  in  the  habit  of  receding 
before  other  interests.  The  obscure  reports  which  have  come 
to  us  in  mythology  and  legend  from  the  primeval  ages  of  human 
society  give  us  an  unpleasant  idea  of  the  power  of  the  father 
and  the  ruthlessness  with  which  it  was  used.  Kronos  devours 
his  children,  as  the  wild  boar  devours  the  brood  of  the  sow  ; 
Zeus  emasculates  his  father  *  and  takes  his  place  as  a  ruler. 
The  more  despotically  the  father  ruled  in  the  ancient  family, 
the  more  must  the  son  have  taken  the  position  of  an  enemy, 
and  the  greater  must  have  been  his  impatience,  as  designated 
successor,  to  obtain  the  mastery  himself  after  his  father's 
death.  Even  in  our  own  middle-class  family  the  father  is 
accustomed  to  aid  the  development  of  the  germ  of  hatred  which 
naturally  belongs  to  the  paternal  relation  by  refusing  the  son 
the  disposal  of  his  own  destiny,  or  the  means  necessary  for 
this.  A  physician  often  has  occasion  to  notice  that  the  son's 
grief  at  the  loss  of  his  father  cannot  suppress  his  satisfaction 
at  the  liberty  which  he  has  at  last  obtained.  Every  father 
frantically  holds  on  to  whatever  of  the  sadly  antiquated  potestas 

*  At  least  a  certain  number  of  mythological  representations.  According 
to  others,  emasculation  is  only  practised  by  Kronos  on  his  father. 

With  regard  to  mythological  significance  of  this  motive,  cf.  Otto  Hank's 
"Der  Mythus  von  der  Geburt  des  Helden,"  fifth  number  of  Schriften  zur 
angew.  Seelenkunde,  1909. 


patris  still  remains  in  the  society  of  to-day,  and  every  poet 
who,  like  Ibsen,  puts  the  ancient  strife  between  father  and  son 
in  the  foreground  of  his  fiction  is  sure  of  his  effect.  The  causes 
of  conflict  between  mother  and  daughter  arise  when  the  daughter 
grows  up  and  finds  a  guardian  in  her  mother,  while  she  desires 
sexual  freedom,  and  when,  on  the  other  hand,  the  mother  has 
been  warned  by  the  budding  beauty  of  her  daughter  that  the 
time  has  come  for  her  to  renounce  sexual  claims. 

All  these  conditions  are  notorious  and  open  to  everyone's 
inspection.  But  they  do  not  serve  to  explain  dreams  of  the 
death  of  parents  found  in  the  case  of  persons  to  whom  piety 
towards  their  parents  has  long  since  come  to  be  inviolable. 
We  are  furthermore  prepared  by  the  preceding  discussion  to 
find  that  the  death-wish  towards  parents  is  to  be  explained  by 
reference  to  earliest  childhood. 

This  conjecture  is  reaffirmed  with  a  certainty  that  makes 
doubt  impossible  in  its  application  to  psychoneurotics  through 
the  analyses  that  have  been  undertaken  with  them.  It  is 
here  found  that  the  sexual  wishes  of  the  child — in  so  far  as 
they  deserve  this  designation  in  their  embryonic  state — 
awaken  at  a  very  early  period,  and  that  the  first  inclinations  of 
the  girl  are  directed  towards  the  father,  and  the  first  childish 
cravings  of  the  boy  towards  the  mother.  The  father  thus 
becomes  an  annoying  competitor  for  the  boy,  as  the  mother 
does  for  the  girl,  and  we  have  already  shown  in  the  case  of 
brothers  and  sisters  how  little  it  takes  for  this  feeling  to  lead 
the  child  to  the  death-wish.  Sexual  selection,  as  a  rule,  early 
becomes  evident  in  the  parents  ;  it  is  a  natural  tendency  for 
the  father  to  indulge  the  little  daughter,  and  for  the  mother 
to  take  the  part  of  the  sons,  while  both  work  earnestly  for  the 
education  of  the  little  ones  when  the  magic  of  sex  does  not 
prejudice  their  judgment.  The  child  is  very  well  aware  of 
any  partiality,  and  resists  that  member  of  the  parental  couple 
who  discourages  it.  To  find  love  in  a  grown-up  person  is  for 
the  child  not  only  the  satisfaction  of  a  particular  craving,  but 
also/means  that  the  child's  will  is  to  be  yielded  to  in  other 
respects.  Thus  the  child  obeys  its  own  sexual  impulse,  and 
at  the  same  time  re-enforces  the  feeling  which  proceeds  from 
the  parents,  if  it  makes  a  selection  among  the  parents  that 
corresponds  to  theirs. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         219 

Most  of  the  signs  of  these  infantile  inclinations  are  usually 
overlooked  ;  some  of  them  may  be  observed  even  after  the 
first  years  of  childhood.  An  eight-year-old  girl  of  my  ac- 
quaintance, when  her  mother  is  called  from  the  table,  takes 
advantage  of  the  opportunity  to  proclaim  herself  her  suc- 
cessor. "  Now  I  shall  be  Mamma  ;  Charles,  do  you  want  some 
more  vegetables  ?  Have  some,  I  beg  you,"  &c.  A  particu- 
larly gifted  and  vivacious  girl,  not  yet  four  years  old,  with 
whom  this  bit  of  child  psychology  is  unusually  transparent, 
says  outright  :  "  Now  mother  can  go  away  ;  then  father  must 
marry  me  and  I  shall  be  his  wife."  Nor  does  this  wish  by  any 
means  exclude  from  child  life  the  possibility  that  the  child 
may  love  his  mother  affectionately.  If  the  little  boy  is  allowed 
to  sleep  at  his  mother's  side  whenever  his  father  goes  on  a 
journey,  and  if  after  his  father's  return  he  must  go  back  to  the 
nursery  to  a  person  whom  he  likes  far  less,  the  wish  may  be 
easily  actuated  that  his  father  may  always  be  absent,  in  order 
that  he  may  keep  his  place  next  to  his  dear,  beautiful  mamma  ; 
and  the  father's  death  is  obviously  a  means  for  the  attainment 
of  this  wish  ;  for  the  child's  experience  has  taught  him  that 
"  dead  "  folks,  like  grandpa,  for  example,  are  always  absent ; 
they  never  return. 

Although  observations  upon  little  children  lend  them- 
selves, without  being  forced,  to  the  proposed  interpretation, 
they  do  not  carry  the  full  conviction  which  psychoanalyses 
of  adult  neurotics  obtrude  upon  the  physician.  The  dreams 
in  question  are  here  cited  with  introductions  of  such  a  nature 
that  their  interpretation  as  wish-dreams  becomes  unavoidable. 
One  day  I  find  a  lady  sad  and  weeping.  She  says  :  "  I  do  not 
want  to  see  my  relatives  any  more  ;  they  must  shudder  at 
me."  Thereupon,  almost  without  any  transition,  she  tells 
that  she  remembers  a  dream,  whose  significance,  of  course, 
she  does  not  know.  She  dreamed  it  four  years  before,  and  it 
is  as  follows  :  A  fox  or  a  lynx  is  taking  a  walk  on  the  roof  ;  then 
something  falls  down,  or  she  falls  down,  and  after  that  her  mother  is 
carried  out  of  the  house  dead — whereat  the  dreamer  cries  bitterly. 
No  sooner  had  I  informed  her  that  this  dream  must  signify  a 
wish  from  her  childhood  to  see  her  mother  dead,  and  that  it  is 
because  of  this  dream  that  she  thinks  that  her  relatives  must 
shudder  at  her,  than  she  furnished  some  material  for  explaining 


the  dream.  "  Lynx-eye  "  is  an  opprobrious  epithet  which  a 
street  boy  once  bestowed  on  her  when  she  was  a  very  small 
child  ;  when  she  was  three  years  old  a  brick  had  fallen  on  her 
mother's  head  so  that  she  bled  severely. 

I  once  had  opportunity  to  make  a  thorough  study  of  a 
young  girl  who  underwent  several  psychic  states.  In  the  state 
of  frenzied  excitement  with  which  the  illness  started,  the 
patient  showed  a  very  strong  aversion  to  her  mother  ;  she 
struck  and  scolded  her  as  soon  as  she  approached  the  bed, 
while  at  the  same  time  she  remained  loving  and  obedient  to  a 
much  older  sister.  Then  there  followed  a  clear  but  somewhat 
apathetic  state  with  very  much  disturbed  sleep.  It  was  in 
this  phase  that  I  began  to  treat  her  and  to  analyse  her  dreams. 
An  enormous  number  of  these  dealt  in  a  more  or  less  abstruse 
manner  with  the  death  of  the  mother  ;  now  she  was  present 
at  the  funeral  of  an  old  woman,  now  she  saw  her  sisters  sitting 
at  the  table  dressed  in  mourning  ;  the  meaning  of  the  dreams 
could  not  be  doubted.  During  the  further  progress  of  the 
convalescence  hysterical  phobias  appeared  ;  the  most  tortur- 
ing of  these  was  the  idea  that  something  happened  to  her 
mother.  She  was  always  having  to  hurry  home  from  wherever 
she  happened  to  be  in  order  to  convince  herself  that  her  mother 
was  still  alive.  Now  this  case,  in  view  of  my  other  experiences, 
was  very  instructive  ;  it  showed  in  polyglot  translations,  as  it 
were,  the  different  ways  in  which  the  psychic  apparatus  reacts 
to  the  same  exciting  idea.  In  the  state  of  excitement  which 
I  conceive  as  the  overpowering  of  the  second  psychic  instance, 
the  unconscious  enmity  towards  the  mother  became  potent 
as  a  motor  impulse  ;  then,  after  calmness  set  in,  following  the 
suppression  of  the  tumult,  and  after  the  domination  of  the 
censor  had  been  restored,  this  feeling  of  enmity  had  access 
only  to  the  province  of  dreams  in  order  to  realise  the  wish  that 
the  mother  might  die  ;  and  after  the  normal  condition  had 
been  still  further  strengthened,  it  created  the  excessive  concern 
for  the  mother  as  a  hysterical  counter-reaction  and  manifesta- 
tion of  defence.  In  the  light  of  these  considerations  it  is  no 
longer  inexplicable  why  hysterical  girls  are  so  often  extrava- 
gantly attached  to  their  mothers. 

On  another  occasion  I  had  opportunity  to  get  a  profound 
insight  into  the  unconscious  psychic  life  of  a  young  man  for 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        221 

whom  a  compulsion-neurosis  made  life  almost  unendurable, 
so  that  he  could  not  go  on  the  street,  because  he  was  harassed 
by  the  obsession  that  he  would  kill  every  one  he  met.  He  spent 
his  days  in  arranging  evidence  for  an  alibi  in  case  he  should  be 
charged  with  any  murder  that  might  have  occurred  in  the 
city.  It  is  superfluous  to  remark  that  this  man  was  as  moral 
as  he  was  highly  cultured.  The  analysis — which,  moreover, 
led  to  a  cure — discovered  murderous  impulses  toward  the 
young  man's  somewhat  over-strict  father  as  the  basis  of  these 
disagreeable  ideas  of  compulsion — impulses  which,  to  his  great 
surprise,  had  received  conscious  expression  when  he  was  seven 
years  old,  but  which,  of  course,  had  originated  in  much  earlier 
years  of  childhood.  After  the  painful  illness  and  death  of 
the  father,  the  obsessive  reproach  transferred  to  strangers  in 
the  form  of  the  afore-mentioned  phobia,  appeared  when  the 
young  man  was  thirty-one  years  old.  Anyone  capable  of 
wishing  to  push  his  own  father  from  a  mountain-top  into  an 
abyss  is  certainly  not  to  be  trusted  to  spare  the  lives  of  those 
who  are  not  so  closely  bound  to  him ;  he  does  well  to  lock 
himself  into  his  room. 

According  to  my  experience,  which  is  now  large,  parents 
play  a  leading  part  in  the  infantile  psychology  of  all  later 
neurotics,  and  falling  in  love  with  one  member  of  the  parental 
couple  and  hatred  of  the  other  help  to  make  up  that  fateful 
sum  of  material  furnished  by  the  psychic  impulses,  which  has 
been  formed  during  the  infantile  period,  and  which  is  of  such 
great  importance  for  the  symptoms  appearing  in  the  later 
neurosis.  But  I  do  not  think  that  psychoneurotics  are  here 
sharply  distinguished  from  normal  human  beings,  in  that 
they  are  capable  of  creating  something  absolutely  new  and 
peculiar  to  themselves.  It  is  far  more  probable,  as  is  shown 
also  by  occasional  observation  upon  normal  children,  that  in 
their  loving  or  hostile  wishes  towards  their  parents  psycho- 
neurotics only  show  in  exaggerated  form  feelings  which  are 
present  less  distinctly  and  less  intensely  in  the  minds  of  most 
children.  Antiquity  has  furnished  us  with  legendary  material 
to  confirm  this  fact,  and  the  deep  and  universal  effectiveness  of 
these  legends  can  only  be  explained  by  granting  a  similar 
universal  applicability  to  the  above-mentioned  assumption  in 
infantile  psychology. 


I  refer  to  the  legend  of  King  Oedipus  and  the  drama  of  the 
same  name  by  Sophocles.  Oedipus,  the  son  of  Laius,  king  of 
Thebes,  and  of  Jocasta,  is  exposed  while  a  suckling,  because 
an  oracle  has  informed  the  father  that  his  son,  who  is  still 
unborn,  will  be  his  murderer.  He  is  rescued,  and  grows  up  as 
the  king's  son  at  a  foreign  court,  until,  being  uncertain  about 
his  origin,  he  also  consults  the  oracle,  and  is  advised  to  avoid 
his  native  place,  for  he  is  destined  to  become  the  murderer  of 
his  father  and  the  husband  of  his  mother.  On  the  road  leading 
away  from  his  supposed  home  he  meets  King  Laius  and  strikes 
him  dead  in  a  sudden  quarrel.  Then  he  comes  to  the  gates 
of  Thebes,  where  he  solves  the  riddle  of  the  Sphynx  who  is 
barring  the  way,  and  he  is  elected  king  by  the  Thebans  in 
gratitude,  and  is  presented  with  the  hand  of  Jocasta.  He 
reigns  in  peace  and  honour  for  a  long  time,  and  begets  two  sons 
and  two  daughters  upon  his  unknown  mother,  until  at  last  a 
plague  breaks  out  which  causes  the  Thebans  to  consult  the 
oracle  anew.  Here  Sophocles'  tragedy  begins.  The  mes- 
sengers bring  the  advice  that  the  plague  will  stop  as  soon  as  the 
murderer  of  Laius  is  driven  from  the  country.  But  where  is 
he  hidden  ? 

"  Where  are  they  to  be  found  %  How  shall  we  trace  the 
perpetrators  of  so  old  a  crime  where  no  conjecture  leads  to 
discovery  ?  "  * 

The  action  of  the  play  now  consists  merely  in  a  revelation, 
which  is  gradually  completed  and  artfully  delayed — resembling 
the  work  of  a  psychoanalysis — of  the  fact  that  Oedipus 
himself  is  the  murderer  of  Laius,  and  the  son  of  the  dead  man 
and  of  Jocasta.  Oedipus,  profoundly  shocked  at  the  mon- 
strosities which  he  has  unknowingly  committed,  blinds  himself 
and  leaves  his  native  place.     The  oracle  has  been  fulfilled. 

The  Oedipus  Tyrannus  is  a  so-called  tragedy  of  fate  ;  its 
tragic  effect  is  said  to  be  found  in  the  opposition  between  the 
powerful  will  of  the  gods  and  the  vain  resistance  of  the  human 
beings  who  are  threatened  with  destruction  ;  resignation  to 
the  will  of  God  and  confession  of  one's  own  helplessness  is  the 
lesson  which  the  deeply-moved  spectator  is  to  learn  from  the 
tragedy.  Consequently  modern  authors  have  tried  to  obtain 
a  similar  tragic  effect  by  embodying  the  same  opposition  in  a 
*  Act.  i.  ac.  2.     Translated  by  George  Soniers  Clark. 

THE    MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        223 

story  of  their  own  invention.  But  spectators  have  sat  unmoved 
while  a  curse  or  an  oracular  sentence  has  been  fulfilled  on 
blameless  human  beings  in  spite  of  all  their  struggles  ;  later 
tragedies  of  fate  have  all  remained  without  effect. 

If  the  Oedipus  Tyrannus  is  capable  of  moving  modern  men 
no  less  than  it  moved  the  contemporary  Greeks,  the  explana- 
tion of  this  fact  cannot  lie  merely  in  the  assumption  that  the 
effect  of  the  Greek  tragedy  is  based  upon  the  opposition  be- 
tween fate  and  human  will,  but  is  to  be  sought  in  the  peculiar 
nature  of  the  material  by  which  the  opposition  is  shown. 
There  must  be  a  voice  within  us  which  is  prepared  to  recognise 
the  compelling  power  of  fate  in  Oedipus,  while  we  justly  con- 
demn the  situations  occurring  in  Die  Ahnfrau  or  in  other 
tragedies  of  later  date  as  arbitrary  inventions.  And  there  must 
be  a  factor  corresponding  to  this  inner  voice  in  the  story  of 
King  Oedipus.  His  fate  moves  us  only  for  the  reason  that  it 
might  have  been  ours,  for  the  oracle  has  put  the  same  curse 
upon  us  before  our  birth  as  upon  him.  Perhaps  we  are  all 
destined  to  direct  our  first  sexual  impulses  towards  our 
mothers,  and  our  first  hatred  and  violent  wishes  towards  our 
fathers  ;  our  dreams  convince  us  of  it.  King  Oedipus,  who 
has  struck  his  father  Laius  dead  and  has  married  his  mother 
Jocasta,  is  nothing  but  the  realised  wish  of  our  childhood. 
But  more  fortunate  than  he,  we  have  since  succeeded,  unless 
we  have  become  psychoneurotics,  in  withdrawing  our  sexual 
impulses  from  our  mothers  and  in  forgetting  our  jealousy  of 
our  fathers.  We  recoil  from  the  person  for  whom  this  primitive 
wish  has  been  fulfilled  with  all  the  force  of  the  repression  which 
these  wishes  have  suffered  within  us.  By  his  analysis,  showing 
us  the  guilt  of  Oedipus,  the  poet  urges  us  to  recognise  our  own 
inner  self,  in  which  these  impulses,  even  if  suppressed,  are  still 
present.     The  comparison  with  which  the  chorus  leaves  us — 

"...  Behold  !  this  Oedipus,  who  unravelled  the  famous 
riddle  and  who  was  a  man  of  eminent  virtue  ;  a  man  who 
trusted  neither  to  popularity  nor  to  the  fortune  of  his  citizens  ; 
see  how  great  a  storm  of  adversity  hath  at  last  overtaken 
him  "  (Act  v.  sc.  4). 

This  warning  applies  to  ourselves  and  to  our  pride,  to  us,  who 
have  grown  so  wise  and  so  powerful  in  our  own  estimation 


since  the  years  of  our  childhood.  Like  Oedipus,  we  live  in 
ignorance  of  the  wishes  that  offend  morality,  wishes  which 
nature  has  forced  upon  us,  and  after  the  revelation  of  which  we 
want  to  avert  every  glance  from  the  scenes  of  our  childhood. 

In  the  very  text  of  Sophocles'  tragedy  there  is  an  unmis- 
takable reference  to  the  fact  that  the  Oedipus  legend  originates 
in  an  extremely  old  dream  material,  which  consists  of  the 
painful  disturbance  of  the  relation  towards  one's  parents  by 
means  of  the  first  impulses  of  sexuality.  Jocasta  comforts 
Oedipus — who  is  not  yet  enlightened,  but  who  has  become 
worried  on  account  of  the  oracle  —  by  mentioning  to  him 
the  dream  which  is  dreamt  by  so  many  people,  though  she 
attaches  no  significance  to  it — 

"  For  it  hath  already  been  the  lot  of  many  men  in  dreams 
to  think  themselves  partners  of  their  mother's  bed.  But  he 
passes  most  easily  through  life  to  whom  these  circumstances 
are  trifles  "  (Act  iv.  sc.  3). 

The  dream  of  having  sexual  intercourse  with  one's  mother 
occurred  at  that  time,  as  it  does  to-day,  to  many  people,  who 
tell  it  with  indignation  and  astonishment.  As  may  be  under- 
stood, it  is  the  key  to  the  tragedy  and  the  complement  to  the 
dream  of  the  death  of  the  father.  The  story  of  Oedipus  is 
the  reaction  of  the  imagination  to  these  two  typical  dreams, 
and  just  as  the  dream  when  occurring  to  an  adult  is  experienced 
with  feelings  of  resistance,  so  the  legend  must  contain  terror 
and  self -chastisement.  The  appearance  which  it  further 
assumes  is  the  result  of  an  uncomprehending  secondary  elab- 
oration which  tries  to  make  it  serve  theological  purposes 
(c/.  the  dream  material  of  exhibitionism,  p.  206).  The  at- 
tempt to  reconcile  divine  omnipotence  with  human  responsi- 
bility must,  of  course,  fail  with  this  material  as  with  every 

*  Another  of  the  great  creations  of  tragic  poetry,  Shakespeare's  Hamlet, 
is  founded  on  the  same  basis  as  the  Oedipus.  But  the  whole  difference  in 
the  psychic  life  of  the  two  widely  separated  periods  of  civilisation — the  age- 
long progress  of  repression  in  the  emotional  life  of  humanity — is  made 
man i fest  in  the  changed  treatment  of  the  identical  material.  In  Oedipus 
the  basic  wish-phantasy  of  the  child  is  brought  to  light  and  realised  as  it  is 
in  the  dream  ;  in  Hamlet  it  remains  repressed,  and  we  learn  of  its  existence 
— somewhat  as  in  the  case  of  a  neurosis — only  by  the  inhibition  which 
results  from  it.     The  fact  that  it  is  possible  to  remain  in  complete  darkness 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        225 

I  must  not  leave  the  typical  dream  of  the  death  of  dear 
relatives   without    somewhat  further   elucidating   the   subject 

concerning  the  character  of  the  hero,  has  curiously  shown  itself  to  be  consistent 
with  the  overpowering  effect  of  the  modern  drama.  The  play  is  based  upon 
Hamlet's  hesitation  to  accomplish  the  avenging  task  which  has  been  assigned 
to  him  ;  the  text  does  not  avow  the  reasons  or  motives  of  this  hesitation,  nor 
have  the  numerous  attempts  at  interpretation  succeeded  in  giving  them. 
According  to  the  conception  which  is  still  current  to-day,  and  which  goes 
back  to  Goethe,  Hamlet  represents  the  type  of  man  whose  prime  energy 
is  paralysed  by  over-development  of  thought  activity.  ("  Sicklied  o'er  with 
the  pale  cast  of  thought.")  According  to  others  the  poet  has  attempted  to 
portray  a  morbid,  vacillating  character  who  is  subject  to  neurasthenia.  The 
plot  of  the  story,  however,  teaches  us  that  Hamlet  is  by  no  means  intended 
to  appear  as  a  person  altogether  incapable  of  action.  Twice  we  see  him 
asserting  himself  actively,  once  in  headlong  passion,  where  he  stabs  the 
eavesdropper  behind  the  arras,  and  on  another  occasion  where  he  sends  the 
two  courtiers  to  the  death  which  has  been  intended  for  himself — doing  this 
deliberately,  even  craftily,  and  with  all  the  lack  of  compunction  of  a  prince 
of  the  Renaissance.  What  is  it,  then,  that  restrains  him  in  the  accomplish- 
ment of  the  task  which  his  father's  ghost  has  set  before  him  ?  Here  the 
explanation  offers  itself  that  it  is  the  peculiar  nature  of  this  task.  Hamlet 
can  do  everything  but  take  vengeance  upon  the  man  who  has  put  his  father 
out  of  the  way,  and  has  taken  his  father's  place  with  his  mother — upon  the 
man  who  shows  him  the  realisation  of  his  repressed  childhood  wishes.  The 
loathing  which  ought  to  drive  him  to  revenge  is  thus  replaced  in  him  by 
self-reproaches,  by  conscientious  scruples,  which  represent  to  him  that  he 
himself  is  no  better  than  the  murderer  whom  he  is  to  punish.  I  have  thus 
translated  into  consciousness  what  had  to  remain  unconscious  in  the  mind 
of  the  hero ;  if  some  one  wishes  to  call  Hamlet  a  hysteric  subject  I  cannot 
but  recognise  it  as  an  inference  from  my  interpretation.  The  sexual  dis- 
inclination which  Hamlet  expresses  in  conversation  with  Ophelia,  coincides 
very  well  with  this  view — it  is  the  same  sexual  disinclination  which  was  to 
take  possession  of  the  poet  more  and  more  during  the  next  few  years  of  his 
life,  until  the  climax  of  it  is  expressed  in  Timon  of  Athens.  Of  course  it 
can  only  be  the  poet's  own  psychology  with  which  we  are  confronted  in 
Hamlet j  from  a  work  on  Shakespeare  by  George  Brandes  (1896),  I  take 
the  fact  that  the  drama  was  composed  immediately  after  the  death  of 
Shakespeare's  father — that  is  to  say,  in  the  midst  of  recent  mourning  for 
him — during  the  revival,  we  may  assume,  of  his  childhood  emotion  towards 
his  father.  It  is  also  known  that  a  son  of  Shakespeare's,  who  died  early, 
bore  the  name  of  Hamnet  (identical  with  Hamlet).  Just  as  Hamlet  treats 
of  the  relation  of  the  son  to  his  parents,  Macbeth,  which  appears  subse- 
quently, is  based  upon  the  theme  of  childlessness.  Just  as  every  neurotic 
symptom,  just  as  the  dream  itself,  is  capable  of  re-interpretation,  and  even 
requires  it  in  order  to  be  perfectly  intelligible,  so  every  genuine  poetical 
creation  must  have  proceeded  from  more  than  one  motive,  more  than  one 
impulse  in  the  mind  of  the  poet,  and  must  admit  of  more  than  one  inter- 
pretation. I  have  here  attempted  to  interpret  only  the  most  profound  group 
of  impulses  in  the  mind  of  the  creative  poet.  The  conception  of  the  Hamlet 
problem  contained  in  these  remarks  has  been  later  confirmed  in  a  detailed 
work  based  on  many  new  arguments  by  Dr.  Ernest  Jones,  of  Toronto 
(Canada).  The  connection  of  the  Hamlet  material  with  the  "  Mythus  von 
der  Geburt  des  Helden "  has  also  been  demonstrated  by  O.  Rank. — "  The 
Oedipus  Complex  as  an  Explanation  of  Hamlet's  Mystery  :  a  Study  in  Motive  " 
{American  Journal  of  Psychology,  January  1910,  vol.  xxi.). 



of  their  significance  for  the  theory  of  the  dream  in  general. 
These  dreams  show  us  a  realisation  of  the  very  unusual  case 
where  the  dream  thought,  which  has  been  created  by  the 
repressed  wish,  completely  escapes  the  censor,  and  is  transferred 
to  the  dream  without  alteration.  There  must  be  present 
peculiar  conditions  making  possible  such  an  outcome.  I  find 
circumstances  favourable  to  these  dreams  in  the  two  following 
factors  :  First,  there  is  no  wish  which  we  believe  further  from 
us  ;  we  believe  such  a  wish  "  would  never  occur  to  us  in  a 
dream  "  ;  the  dream  censor  is  therefore  not  prepared  for  this 
monstrosity,  just  as  the  legislation  of  Solon  was  incapable  of 
establishing  a  punishment  for  patricide.  Secondly,  the  re- 
pressed and  unsuspected  wish  is  in  just  this  case  particularly 
often  met  by  a  fragment  of  the  day's  experience  in  the  shape 
of  a  concern  about  the  life  of  the  beloved  person.  This  con- 
cern cannot  be  registered  in  the  dream  by  any  other  means 
than  by  taking  advantage  of  the  wish  that  has  the  same 
content ;  but  it  is  possible  for  the  wish  to  mask  itself  behind 
the  concern  which  has  been  awakened  during  the  day.  If  one 
is  inclined  to  think  all  this  a  more  simple  process,  and  that 
one  merely  continues  during  the  night  and  in  dreams  what 
one  has  been  concerned  with  during  the  day,  the  dream  of  the 
death  of  beloved  persons  is  removed  from  all  connection  with 
dream  explanation,  and  an  easily  reducible  problem  is  uselessly 

It  is  also  instructive  to  trace  the  relation  of  these  dreams  to 
anxiety  dreams.  In  the  dream  of  the  death  of  dear  persons 
the  repressed  wish  has  found  a  way  of  avoiding  the  censor, 
and  the  distortion  which  it  causes.  In  this  case  the  inevitable 
concomitant  manifestation  is  that  disagreeable  sensations  are 
felt  in  the  dream.  Thus  the  dream  of  fear  is  brought  about 
only  when  the  censor  is  entirely  or  partially  overpowered, 
and,  on  the  other  hand,  the  overpowering  of  the  censor  is  made 
easier  when  fear  has  already  been  furnished  by  somatic  sources. 
Thus  it  becomes  obvious  for  what  purpose  the  censor  performs 
its  office  and  practises  dream  distortion  ;  it  does  this  in  order 
to  prevent  the  development  of  fear  or  other  forms  of  disagreeable 

I  have  spoken  above  of  the  egotism  of  the  infantile  mind, 
and  I  may  now  resume  this  subject  in  order  to  suggest  that 

THE   MATERIAL    OF  DREAMS        227 

dreams  preserve  this  characteristic — thus  showing  their  con- 
nection with  infantile  life.  Every  dream  is  absolutely  egotis- 
tical ;  in  every  dream  the  beloved  ego  appears,  even  though  it 
may  be  in  a  disguised  form.  The  wishes  that  are  realised  in 
dreams  are  regularly  the  wishes  of  this  ego  ;  it  is  only  a  de- 
ceptive appearance  if  interest  in  another  person  is  thought  to 
have  caused  the  dream.  I  shall  subject  to  analysis  several 
examples  which  appear  to  contradict  this  assertion. 

I.  A  boy  not  yet  four  years  old  relates  the  following  :  He 
saw  a  large  dish  garnished,  and  upon  it  a  large  piece  of  roast  meat, 
and  the  meat  was  all  of  a  sudden — not  cut  to  pieces — but  eaten  up. 
He  did  not  see  the  person  who  ate  it* 

Who  may  this  strange  person  be  of  whose  luxurious  repast 
this  little  fellow  dreams  ?  The  experiences  of  the  day  must 
give  us  the  explanation  of  this.  For  a  few  days  the  boy  had 
been  living  on  a  diet  of  milk  according  to  the  doctor's  pre- 
scription ;  but  on  the  evening  of  the  day  before  the  dream  he 
had  been  naughty,  and  as  a  punishment  he  had  been  deprived  of 
his  evening  meal.  He  had  already  undergone  one  such  hunger- 
cure,  and  had  acted  very  bravely.  He  knew  that  he  would  get 
nothing  to  eat,  but  he  did  not  dare  to  indicate  by  a  word  that 
he  was  hungry.  Education  was  beginning  to  have  its  influence 
upon  him  ;  this  is  expressed  even  in  the  dream  which  shows 
the  beginnings  of  dream  disfigurement.  There  is  no  doubt 
that  he  himself  is  the  person  whose  wishes  are  directed  toward 
this  abundant  meal,  and  a  meal  of  roast  meat  at  that.  But 
since  he  knows  that  this  is  forbidden  him,  he  does  not  dare,  as 
children  do  in  the  dream  (cf.  the  dream  about  strawberries  of 
my  little  Anna,  p.  110),  to  sit  down  to  the  meal  himself.  The 
person  remains  anonymous. 

II.  Once  I  dream  that  I  see  on  the  show-table  of  a  book 
store  a  new  number  in  the  Book-lovers'  Collection — the  collec- 
tion which  I  am  in  the  habit  of  buying  (art  monographs,  mono- 
graphs on  the  history  of  the  world,  famous  art  centres,  &c). 

*  Likewise,  anything  large,  over-abundant,  enormous,  and  exaggerated, 
may  be  a  childish  characteristic.  The  child  knows  no  more  intense  wish 
than  to  become  big,  and  to  receive  as  much  of  everything  as  grown-ups ;  the 
child  is  hard  to  satisfy ;  it  knows  no  enough,  and  insatiably  demands  the 
repetition  of  whatever  has  pleased  it  or  tasted  good  to  it.  It  learns  to 
practise  moderation,  to  be  modest  and  resigned,  only  through  culture  and 
education.  As  is  well  known,  the  neurotic  is  also  inclined  toward  im- 
moderation and  excess. 


The  new  collection  is  called  Famous  Orators  {or  Orations),  and 
the  first  number  hears  the  name  of  Doctor  Lecher. 

In  the  course  of  analysis  it  appears  improbable  that  the 
fame  of  Dr.  Lecher,  the  long-winded  orator  of  the  German 
Opposition,  should  occupy  my  thoughts  while  I  am  dreaming. 
The  fact  is  that,  a  few  days  before,  I  undertook  the  psychic 
cure  of  some  new  patients,  and  was  now  forced  to  talk  for 
from  ten  to  twelve  hours  a  day.  Thus  I  myself  am  the  long- 
winded  orator. 

III.  Upon  another  occasion  I  dream  that  a  teacher  of  my 
acquaintance  at  the  university  says  :  My  son,  the  Myopic. 
Then  there  follows  a  dialogue  consisting  of  short  speeches  and 
replies.  A  third  portion  of  the  dream  follows  in  which  I  and 
my  sons  appear,  and  as  far  as  the  latent  dream  content  is 
concerned,  father,  son,  and  Professor  M.  are  alike  only  lay 
figures  to  represent  me  and  my  eldest  son.  I  shall  consider 
this  dream  again  further  on  because  of  another  peculiarity. 

IV.  The  following  dream  gives  an  example  of  really  base 
egotistical  feelings,  which  are  concealed  behind  affectionate 
concern  : 

My  friend  Otto  looks  ill,  his  face  is  brown  and  his  eyes  bulge. 

Otto  is  my  family  physician,  to  whom  I  owe  a  debt  greater 
than  I  can  ever  hope  to  repay,  since  he  has  guarded  the  health 
of  my  children  for  years.  He  has  treated  them  successfully 
when  they  were  taken  sick,  and  besides  that  he  has  given  them 
presents  on  all  occasions  which  gave  him  any  excuse  for  doing 
so.  He  came  for  a  visit  on  the  day  of  the  dream,  and  my 
wife  noticed  that  he  looked  tired  and  exhausted.  Then  comes 
my  dream  at  night,  and  attributes  to  him  a  few  of  the  symptoms 
of  Basedow's  disease.  Any  one  disregarding  my  rules  for 
dream  interpretation  would  understand  this  dream  to  mean 
that  I  am  concerned  about  the  health  of  my  friend,  and  that 
this  concern  is  realised  in  the  dream.  It  would  thus  be  a 
contradiction  not  only  of  the  assertion  that  the  dream  is  a 
wish-fulfilment,  but  also  of  the  assertion  that  it  is  accessible 
only  to  egotistic  impulses.  But  let  the  person  who  interprets 
the  dream  in  this  manner  explain  to  me  why  I  fear  that  Otto 
has .  Basedow's  disease,  for  which  diagnosis  his  appearance 
does  not  give  the  slightest  justification  ?  As  opposed  to  this, 
my  analysis   furnishes  the  following  material,  taken  from  an 

THE   MATERIAL   OF  DREAMS        229 

occurrence  which  happened  six  years  ago.  A  small  party  of 
us,  including  Professor  R.,  were  driving  in  profound  darkness 
through  the  forest  of  N.,  which  is  several  hours  distant  from 
our  country  home.  The  coachman,  who  was  not  quite  sober, 
threw  us  and  the  wagon  down  a  bank,  and  it  was  only  by  a 
lucky  accident  that  we  all  escaped  unhurt.  But  we  were 
forced  to  spend  the  night  at  the  nearest  inn,  where  the  news  of 
our  accident  awakened  great  sympathy.  A  gentleman,  who 
showed  unmistakable  signs  of  the  morbus  Basedowii — nothing 
but  a  brownish  colour  of  the  skin  of  the  face  and  bulging  eyes, 
no  goitre — placed  himself  entirely  at  our  disposal  and  asked 
what  he  could  do  for  us.  Professor  R.  answered  in  his  decided 
way  :  "  Nothing  but  lend  me  a  night-shirt."  Whereupon  our 
generous  friend  replied  :  "I  am  sorry  but  I  cannot  do  that," 
and  went  away. 

In  continuing  the  analysis,  it  occurs  to  me  that  Basedow 
is  the  name  not  only  of  a  physician,  but  also  of  a  famous 
educator.  (Now  that  I  am  awake  I  do  not  feel  quite  sure  of 
this  fact.)  My  friend  Otto  is  the  person  whom  I  have  asked 
to  take  charge  of  the  physical  education  of  my  children — 
especially  during  the  age  of  puberty  (hence  the  night-shirt) — 
in  case  anything  should  happen  to  me.  By  seeing  Otto  in 
the  dream  with  the  morbid  symptoms  of  our  above-mentioned 
generous  benefactor,  I  apparently  mean  to  say,  "  If  anything 
happens  to  me,  just  as  little  is  to  be  expected  for  my  children 
from  him  as  was  to  be  expected  then  from  Baron  L.,  in  spite  of 
his  well-meaning  offers."  The  egotistical  turn  of  this  dream 
ought  now  to  be  clear.* 

But  where  is  the  wish-fulfilment  to  be  found  ?  It  is  not 
in  the  vengeance  secured  upon  my  friend  Otto,  whose  fate  it 
seems  to  be  to  receive  ill-treatment  in  my  dreams,  but  in  the 
following  circumstances  :  In  representing  Otto  in  the  dream 
as  Baron  L.,  I  have  at  the  same  time  identified  myself  with 
some  one  else,  that  is  to  say,  with  Professor  R.,  for  I  have  asked 
something  of  Otto,  just  as  R.   asked  something  of  Baron  L. 

*  While  Dr.  Jones  was  delivering  a  lecture  before  an  American  scientific 
society,  and  speaking  of  egotism  in  dreams,  a  learned  lady  took  exception 
to  this  unscientific  generalisation.  She  thought  that  the  lecturer  could  only 
pronounce  such  judgment  on  the  dreams  of  Austrians,  and  had  no  right  to 
include  the  dreams  of  Americans.  As  for  herself  she  was  sure  that  all  her 
dreams  were  strictly  altruistic. 


at  the  time  of  the  occurrence  which  has  been  mentioned.  And 
that  is  the  point.  For  Professor  R.  has  pursued  his  way 
independently  outside  the  schools,  somewhat  as  I  have  done, 
and  has  only  in  later  years  received  the  title  which  he  earned 
long  ago.  I  am  therefore  again  wishing  to  be  a  professor  ! 
The  very  phrase  "  in  later  years  "  is  the  fulfilment  of  wish, 
for  it  signifies  that  I  shall  five  long  enough  to  pilot  my  boy 
through  the  age  of  puberty  myself. 

I  gave  only  a  brief  account  of  the  other  forms  of  typical 
dreams  in  the  first  edition  of  this  book,  because  an  insufficient 
amount  of  good  material  was  at  my  disposal.  My  experience, 
which  has  since  been  increased,  now  makes  it  possible  for  me 
to  divide  these  dreams  into  two  broad  classes — first,  those 
which  really  have  the  same  meaning  every  time,  and  secondly, 
those  which  must  be  subjected  to  the  most  widely  different 
interpretations  in  spite  of  their  identical  or  similar  content. 
Among  the  typical  dreams  of  the  first  sort  I  shall  closely 
consider  the  examination  dream  and  the  so-called  dream  of 
dental  irritation. 

Every  one  who  has  received  his  degree  after  having  passed 
the  final  college  examination,  complains  of  the  ruthlessness 
with  which  he  is  pursued  by  the  anxiety  dream  that  he  will 
fail,  that  he  must  repeat  his  work,  &c.  For  the  holder  of  the 
university  degree  this  typical  dream  is  replaced  by  another, 
which  represents  to  him  that  he  has  to  pass  the  examination 
for  the  doctor's  degree,  and  against  which  he  vainly  raises  the 
objection  in  his  sleep  that  he  has  already  been  practising  for 
years — that  he  is  already  a  university  instructor  or  the  head 
of  a  law  firm.  These  are  the  ineradicable  memories  of  the 
punishments  which  we  suffered  when  we  were  children  for 
misdeeds  which  we  had  committed — memories  which  were 
revived  in  us  on  that  dies  irae,  dies  ilia  of  the  severe  exami- 
nation at  the  two  critical  junctures  in  our  studies.  The 
"  examination-phobia  "  of  neurotics  is  also  strengthened  by 
this  childish  fear.  After  we  have  ceased  to  be  schoolboys  it 
is  no  longer  our  parents  and  guardians  as  at  first,  or  our 
teachers  as  later  on,  who  see  to  our  punishment  ;  the  inexorable 
chain  of  causes  and  effects  in  life  has  taken  over  our  further 
education.     Now  we  dream  of  examinations  for  graduation 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        231 

or  for  the  doctor's  degree — and  who  has  not  been  faint-hearted 
in  these  tests,  even  though  he  belonged  to  the  righteous  ? — 
whenever  we  fear  that  an  outcome  will  punish  us  because  we 
have  not  done  something,  or  because  we  have  not  accomplished 
something  as  we  should — in  short  whenever  we  feel  the  weight 
of  responsibility. 

I  owe  the  actual  explanation  of  examination  dreams  to  a 
remark  made  by  a  well-informed  colleague,  who  once  asserted 
in  a  scientific  discussion  that  in  his  experience  the  examination 
dream  occurs  only  to  persons  who  have  passed  the  examina- 
tion, never  to  those  who  have  gone  to  pieces  on  it.  The 
anxiety  dream  of  the  examination,  which  occurs,  as  is  being 
more  and  more  corroborated,  when  the  dreamer  is  looking 
forward  to  a  responsible  action  on  his  part  the  next  day  and 
the  possibility  of  disgrace,  has  therefore  probably  selected 
an  occasion  in  the  past  where  the  great  anxiety  has  shown 
itself  to  have  been  without  justification  and  has  been  contra- 
dicted by  the  result.  This  would  be  a  very  striking  example 
of  a  misconception  of  the  dream  content  on  the  part  of  the 
waking  instance.  The  objection  to  the  dream,  which  is  con- 
ceived as  the  indignant  protest,  "  But  I  am  already  a 
doctor,"  &c,  would  be  in  reality  a  consolation  which  the 
dreams  offer,  and  which  would  therefore  be  to  the  following 
effect :  "  Do  not  be  afraid  of  the  morrow  ;  think  of  the  fear 
which  you  had  before  the  final  examination,  and  yet  nothing 
came  of  it.  You  are  a  doctor  this  minute,"  &c.  The  fear, 
however,  which  we  attribute  to  the  dream,  originates  in  the 
remnants  of  daily  experience. 

The  tests  of  this  explanation  which  I  was  able  to  make  in 
my  own  case  and  in  that  of  others,  although  they  were  not 
sufficiently  numerous,  have  been  altogether  successful.  I 
failed,  for  example,  in  the  examination  for  the  doctor's  degree 
in  legal  medicine  ;  never  once  have  I  been  concerned  about 
this  matter  in  my  dreams,  while  I  have  often  enough  been 
examined  in  botany,  zoology,  or  chemistry,  in  which  subjects 
I  took  the  examinations  with  well-founded  anxiety,  but 
escaped  punishment  through  the  clemency  of  fortune  or  of 
the  examiner.  In  my  dreams  of  college  examination,  I  am 
regularly  examined  in  history,  a  subject  which  I  passed 
brilliantly  at  the  time,  but  only,  I  must  admit,  because  my 


good-natured  professor — my  one-eyed  benefactor  in  another 
dream  (c/.  p.  12) — did  not  overlook  the  fact  that  on  the  list 
of  questions  I  had  crossed  out  the  second  of  three  questions 
as  an  indication  that  he  should  not  insist  on  it.  One  of  my 
patients,  who  withdrew  before  the  final  college  examinations 
and  made  them  up  later,  but  who  failed  in  the  officer's  exami- 
nation and  did  not  become  an  officer,  tells  me  that  he  dreams 
about  the  former  examination  often  enough,  but  never  about 
the  latter. 

The  above-mentioned  colleague  (Dr.  Stekel  of  Vienna) 
calls  attention  to  the  double  meaning  of  the  word  "  Matura  " 
(Matura — examination  for  college  degree  :  mature,  ripe),  and 
claims  that  he  has  observed  that  examination  dreams  occur 
very  frequently  when  a  sexual  test  is  set  for  the  following  day, 
in  which,  therefore,  the  disgrace  which  is  feared  might  consist 
in  the  manifestation  of  slight  potency.  A  German  colleague 
takes  exception  to  this,  as  it  appears,  justly,  on  the  ground 
that  this  examination  is  denominated  in  Germany  the  Abiturium 
and  hence  lacks  this  double  meaning. 

On  account  of  their  similar  affective  impression  dreams  of 
missing  a  train  deserve  to  be  placed  next  to  examination 
dreams.  Their  explanation  also  justifies  this  relationship. 
They  are  consolation  dreams  directed  against  another  feeling 
of  fear  perceived  in  the  dream,  the  fear  of  dying.  "  To 
depart  "  is  one  of  the  most  frequent  and  one  of  the  most  easily 
reached  symbols  of  death.  The  dream  thus  says  consolingly  : 
"  Compose  yourself,  you  are  not  going  to  die  (to  depart),"  just 
as  the  examination  dream  calms  us  by  saying  "  Fear  not, 
nothing  will  happen  to  you  even  this  time."  The  difficulty 
in  understanding  both  kinds  of  dreams  is  due  to  the  fact  that 
the  feeling  of  anxiety  is  directly  connected  with  the  expression 
of  consolation.  Stekel  treats  fully  the  symbolisms  of  death 
in  his  recently  published  book  Die  Sprache  des  Traumes. 

The  meaning  of  the  "  dreams  of  dental  irritation,"  which 
I  have  had  to  analyse  often  enough  with  my  patients, 
escaped  me  for  a  long  time,  because,  much  to  my  astonishment, 
resistances  that  were  altogether  too  great  obstructed  their 

At  last  overwhelming  evidence  convinced  me  that,  in  the 
case  of  men,  nothing  else  than  cravings  for  masturbation  from 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        233 

the  time  of  puberty  furnishes  the  motive  power  for  these 
dreams.  I  shall  analyse  two  such  dreams,  one  of  which  is 
likewise  "  a  dream  of  flight."  The  two  dreams  are  of  the 
same  person — a  young  man  with  a  strong  homosexuality, 
which,  however,  has  been  repressed  in  life. 

He  is  witnessing  a  performance  of  Fidelio  from  the  parquette 
of  the  opera  house  ;  he  is  sitting  next  to  L.,  whose  personality  is 
congenial  to  him,  and  whose  friendship  he  would  like  to  have. 
He  suddenly  flies  diagonally  clear  across  the  parquette ;  he 
then  puts  his  hand  in  his  mouth  and  draws  out  two  of  his 

He  himself  describes  the  flight  by  saying  it  was  as  if  he 
were  "  thrown "  into  the  air.  As  it  was  a  performance  of 
Fidelio  he  recalls  the  poet's  words  : 

"  He  who  a  charming  wife  acquired " 

But  even  the  acquisition  of  a  charming  wife  is  not  among  the 
wishes  of  the  dreamer.  Two  other  verses  would  be  more 
appropriate  : 

"  He  who  succeeds  in  the  lucky  (big)  throw, 
A  friend  of  a  friend  to  be   ...  " 

The  dream  thus  contains  the  "  lucky  (big)  throw,"  which 
is  not,  however,  a  wish-fulfilment  only.  It  also  conceals  the 
painful  reflection  that  in  his  striving  after  friendship  he  has 
often  had  the  misfortune  to  be  "  thrown  down,"  and  the  fear 
lest  this  fate  may  be  repeated  in  the  case  of  the  young 
man  next  whom  he  has  enjoyed  the  performance  of  Fidelio. 
This  is  now  followed  by  a  confession  which  quite  puts  this 
refined  dreamer  to  shame,  to  the  effect  that  once,  after  such 
a  rejection  on  the  part  of  a  friend,  out  of  burning  desire  he 
merged  into  sexual  excitement  and  masturbated  twice  in 

The  other  dream  is  as  follows  :  Two  professors  of  the  uni- 
versity who  are  known  to  him  are  treating  him  in  my  stead.  One 
of  them  does  something  with  his  penis ;  he  fears  an  operation. 
The  other  one  thrusts  an  iron  bar  at  his  mouth  so  that  he  loses 
two  teeth.     He  is  bound  with  four  silken  cloths. 

The  sexual  significance  of  this  dream  can  hardly  be  doubted. 
The  silken  cloths  are  equivalent  to  an  identification  with  a 


homosexual  of  his  acquaintance.  The  dreamer,  who  has  never 
achieved  coition,  but  who  has  never  actually  sought  sexual 
intercourse  with  men,  conceives  sexual  intercourse  after  the 
model  of  the  masturbation'  which  he  was  once  taught  during 
the  time  of  puberty. 

I  believe  that  the  frequent  modifications  of  the  typical 
dream  of  dental  irritation — that,  for  example,  of  another 
person  drawing  the  tooth  from  the  dreamer's  mouth,  are  made 
intelligible  by  means  of  the  same  explanation.  It  may, 
however,  be  difficult  to  see  how  "  dental  irritation  "  can  come 
to  have  this  significance.  I  may  then  call  attention  to  a 
transference  from  below  to  above  which  occurs  very  frequently. 
This  transference  is  at  the  service  of  sexual  repression,  and 
by  means  of  it  all  kinds  of  sensations  and  intentions  occurring 
in  hysteria  which  ought  to  be  enacted  in  the  genitals  can  be 
realised  upon  less  objectionable  parts  of  the  body.  It  is  also 
a  case  of  such  transference  when  the  genitals  are  replaced  by 
the  face  in  the  symbolism  of  unconscious  thought.  This  is 
assisted  by  the  fact  that  the  buttocks  resemble  the  cheeks,  and 
also  by  the  usage  of  language  which  calls  the  nymphse  "  lips," 
as  resembling  those  that  enclose  the  opening  of  the  mouth. 
The  nose  is  compared  to  the  penis  in  numerous  allusions,  and 
in  one  place  as  in  the  other  the  presence  of  hair  completes  the 
resemblance.  Only  one  part  of  the  anatomy — the  teeth — 
are  beyond  all  possibility  of  being  compared  with  anything, 
and  it  is  just  this  coincidence  of  agreement  and  disagreement 
which  makes  the  teeth  suitable  for  representation  under 
pressure  of  sexual  repression. 

I  do  not  wish  to  claim  that  the  interpretation  of  the  dream 
of  dental  irritation  as  a  dream  of  masturbation,  the  justifica- 
tion of  which  I  cannot  doubt,  has  been  freed  of  all  obscurity.* 
I  carry  the  explanation  as  far  as  I  am  able,  and  must  leave  the 
rest  unsolved.  But  I  must  also  refer  to  another  connection 
revealed  by  an  idiomatic  expression.  In  our  country  there  is 
in  use  an  indelicate  designation  for  the  act  of  masturbation, 
namely  :  To  pull  one  out,  or  to  pull  one  down.f  I  am  unable 
to  say  whence   these   colloquialisms   originate,  and   on  what 

*  According  to  C.  tt.  Jung,  dreams  of  dental  irritation  in  the  case  of 
women  have  the  significance  of  parturition  dreams. 
t  Of.  the  "  biographic  "  dream  on  p.  235. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        235 

symbolisms  they  are  based,  but  the  teeth  would  well  fit  in 
with  the  first  of  the  two.* 

Dreams  in  which  one  is  flying  or  hovering,  falling,  swimming, 
or  the  like,  belong  to  the  second  group  of  typical  dreams.  What 
do  these  dreams  signify  ?  A  general  statement  on  this  point 
cannot  be  made.     They  signify  something  different  in  each  case, 

*  As  the  dreams  of  pulling  teeth,  and  teeth  falling  out,  are  interpreted 
in  popular  belief  to  mean  the  death  of  a  close  friend,  and  as  psychoanalysis 
can  at  most  only  admit  of  such  a  meaning  in  the  above  indicated  parodical 
sense,  I  insert  here  a  dream  of  dental  irritation  placed  at  my  disposal  by 
Otto  Rank 109. 

"  Upon  the  subject  of  dreams  of  dental  irritation  I  have  received  the 
following  report  from  a  colleague  who  has  for  some  time  taken  a  lively 
interest  in  the  problems  of  dream  interpretation : 

I  recently  dreamed  that  I  went  to  the  dentist  who  drilled  out  one  of  my  bach 
teeth  in  the  lower  jaw.  He  worked  so  long  at  it  that  the  tooth  became  useless.  He 
then  grasped  it  with  the  forceps,  and  pulled  it  out  with  such  perfect  ease  that  it 
astonished  me.  He  said  that  I  should  not  care  about  it,  as  this  ivas  not  really  the 
tooth  that  had  been  treated ;  and  he  'put  it  on  the  table  where  the  tooth  (as  it  seems 
to  me  now  an  upper  incisor)  fell  apart  into  many  strata.  I  arose  from  the 
operating  chair,  stepped  inquisitively  nearer,  and,  full  of  interest,  put  a  medical 
question.  While  the  doctor  separated  the  individual  pieces  of  the  strikingly  white 
tooth  and  ground  them  up  (pulverised  them)  with  an  instrument,  he  explained 
to  me  that  this  had  some  connection  with  puberty,  and  that  the  teeth  come  out  so 
easily  only  before  puberty  ;  the  decisive  moment  for  this  in  women  is  the  birth  of 
a  child.  I  then  noticed  (as  I  believe  half  awake)  that  this  dream  was  accompanied 
by  a  pollution  which  I  cannot  however  definitely  place  at  a  particular  point  in 
the  dream;  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  it  began  with  the  pulling  out  of  the 

I  then  continued  to  dream  something  which  I  can  no  longer  remember,  which 
ended  with  the  fact  tliat  I  had  left  my  liat  and  coat  somewhere  (perhaps  at  the 
dentist's),  hoping  that  they  would  be  brought  after  me,  and  dressed  only  in  my 
overcoat  I  hastened  to  catch  a  departing  train.  I  succeeded  at  the  last  moment 
in  jumping  upon  the  last  car,  where  someone  was  already  standing.  I  could  not, 
however,  get  inside  the  car,  but  was  compelled  to  make  the  journey  in  an  un- 
comfortable position,  from  which  I  attempted  to  escape  with  final  success.  We 
journeyed  through  a  long  tunnel,  in  which  two  trains  from  the  opposite  direction 
passed  through  our  own  train  as  if  it  were  a  tunnel.  I  looked  in  as  from  the 
outside  through  a  car  window. 

As  material  for  the  interpretation  of  this  dream,  we  obtained  the  follow- 
ing experiences  and  thoughts  of  the  dreamer  : — 

I.  For  a  short  time  I  had  actually  been  under  dental  treatment,  and  at 
the  time  of  the  dream  I  was  suffering  from  continual  pains  in  the  tooth  of 
my  lower  jaw,  which  was  drilled  out  in  the  dream,  and  on  which  the  dentist 
had  in  fact  worked  longer  than  I  liked.  On  the  forenoon  of  the  day  of  the 
dream  I  had  again  gone  to  the  doctor's  on  account  of  the  pain,  and  he  had 
suggested  that  I  should  allow  him  to  pull  out  another  tooth  than  the  one 
treated  in  the  same  jaw,  from  which  the  pain  probably  came.  It  was  a 
'  wisdom  tooth '  which  was  just  breaking  through.  On  this  occasion,  and 
in  this  connection,  I  had  put  a  question  to  his  conscience  as  a  physician. 

II.  On  the  afternoon  of  the  same  day  I  was  obliged  to  excuse  myself  to 
a  lady  for  my  irritable  disposition  on  account  of  the  toothache,  upon  which 


as  we  shall  hear  :  only  the  sensational  material  which  they 
contain  always  comes  from  the  same  source. 

It  is  necessary  to  conclude,  from  the  material  obtained  in 
psychoanalysis,  that  these  dreams  repeat  impressions  from 
childhood — that  is,  that  they  refer  to  the  movement  games 
which  have  such  extraordinary  attractions  for  the  child.     What 

she  told  me  that  she  was  afraid  to  have  one  of  her  roots  pulled,  though  the 
crown  was  almost  completely  gone.  She  thought  that  the  pulling  out  of 
eye  teeth  was  especially  painful  and  dangerous,  although  some  acquaintance 
had  told  her  that  this  was  much  easier  when  it  was  a  tooth  of  the  lower 
jaw.  It  was  such  a  tooth  in  her  case.  The  same  acquaintance  also  told  her 
that  while  under  an  anaesthetic  one  of  her  false  teeth  had  been  pulled — a 
statement  which  increased  her  fear  of  the  necessary  operation.  She  then 
asked  me  whether  by  eye  teeth  one  was  to  understand  molars  or  canines, 
and  what  was  known  about  them.  I  then  called  her  attention  to  the  vein 
of  superstitions  in  all  these  meanings,  without  however,  emphasising  the 
real  significance  of  some  of  the  popular  views.  She  knew  from  her  own 
experience,  a  very  old  and  general  popular  belief,  according  to  which  if  a 
pregnant  woman  has  toothache  she  will  give  birth  to  a  boy. 

III.  This  saying  interested  me  in  its  relation  to  the  typical  significance 
of  dreams  of  dental  irritation  as  a  substitute  for  onanism  as  maintained  by 
Freud  in  his  Traumdeutung  (2nd  edition,  p.  193),  for  the  teeth  and  the  male 
genital  (Bub-boy)  are  brought  in  certain  relations  even  in  the  popular 
saying.  On  the  evening  of  the  same  day  I  therefore  read  the  passage  in 
question  in  the  Traumdeutung,  and  found  there  among  other  things  the 
statements  which  will  be  quoted  in  a  moment,  the  influence  of  which  on  my 
dream  is  as  plainly  recognisable  as  the  influence  of  the  two  above-mentioned 
experiences.  Freud  writes  concerning  dreams  of  dental  irritation  that  'in 
the  case  of  men  nothing  else  than  cravings  for  masturbation  from  the  time 
of  puberty  furnishes  the  motive  power  for  these  dreams,'  p.  193.  Further, 
'  I  am  of  the  opinion  that  the  frequent  modifications  of  the  typical  dream 
of  dental  irritation — that  e.g.  of  another  person  drawing  the  tooth  from  the 
dreamer's  mouth — are  made  intelligible  by  means  of  the  same  explanation. 
It  may  seem  problematic,  however,  how  "  dental  irritation  "  can  arrive  at  this 
significance.  I  here  call  attention  to  the  transference  from  below  to  above 
(in  the  dream  in  question  from  the  lower  to  the  upper  jaw),  which  occurs 
so  frequently,  which  is  at  the  service  of  sexual  repression,  and  by  means  of 
which  all  kinds  of  sensations  and  intentions  occurring  in  hysteria  which 
ought  to  be  enacted  in  the  genitals  can  be  realised  upon  less  objectionable 
parts  of  the  body,'  p.  194.  '  But  I  must  also  refer  to  another  connection 
contained  in  an  idiomatic  expression.  In  our  country  there  is  in  use  an 
indelicate  designation  for  the  act  of  masturbation,  namely :  To  pull  one  out, 
or  to  pull  one  down,'  p.  195,  2nd  edition.  This  expression  had  been  familiar 
to  me  in  early  youth  as  a  designation  for  onanism,  and  from  here  on  it  will 
not  be  difficult  for  the  experienced  dream  interpreter  to  get  access  to  the 
infantile  material  which  may  lie  at  the  basis  of  this  dream.  I  only  wish 
to  add  that  the  facility  with  which  the  tooth  in  the  dream  came  out,  and 
the  fact  that  it  became  transformed  after  coming  out  into  an  upper  incisor, 
recalls  to  me  an  experience  of  childhood  when  I  myself  easily  and  painlessly 
pulled  out  one  of  my  wobbling  front  teeth.  This  episode,  which  I  can  still 
to  this  day  distinctly  remember  with  all  its  details,  happened  at  the  same 
early  period  in  which  my  first  conscious  attempts  at  onanism  began — 
(Concealing  Memory). 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        237 

uncle  has  never  made  a  child  fly  by  running  across  the  room 
with  it  with  arms  outstretched,  or  has  never  played  falling 
with  it  by  rocking  it  on  his  knee  and  then  suddenly  stretching 
out  his  leg,  or  by  lifting  it  up  high  and  then  pretending  to 
withdraw  support.  At  this  the  children  shout  with  joy,  and 
demand  more  untiringly,  especially  if  there  is  a  little  fright 

The  reference  of  Freud  to  an  assertion  of  C.  G.  Jung  that  dreams  of 
dental  irritation  in  women  signify  parturition  (footnote  p.  194),  together 
with  the  popular  belief  in  the  significance  of  toothache  in  pregnant  women, 
has  established  an  opposition  between  the  feminine  significance  and  the 
masculine  (puberty).  In  this  connection  I  recall  an  earlier  dream  which  I 
dreamed  soon  after  I  was  discharged  by  the  dentist  after  the  treatment,  that 
the  gold  crowns  which  had  just  been  put  in  fell  out,  whereupon  I  was  greatly 
chagrined  in  the  dream  on  account  of  the  considerable  expense,  concerning 
which  I  had  not  yet  stopped  worrying.  In  view  of  a  certain  experience  this 
dream  now  becomes  comprehensible  as  a  commendation  of  the  material 
advantages  of  masturbation  when  contrasted  with  every  form  of  the  economi- 
cally less  advantageous  object-love  (gold  crowns  are  also  Austrian  gold 

Theoretically  this  case  seems  to  show  a  double  interest.  First  it  verifies 
the  connection  revealed  by  Freud,  inasmuch  as  the  ejaculation  in  the  dream 
takes  place  during  the  act  of  tooth-pulling.  For  no  matter  in  what  form 
a  pollution  may  appear,  we  are  obliged  to  look  upon  it  as  a  masturbatic 
gratification  which  takes  place  without  the  help  of  mechanical  excitation. 
Moreover  the  gratification  by  pollution  in  this  case  does  not  take  place,  as  is 
usually  the  case,  through  an  imaginary  object,  but  it  is  without  an  object ; 
and,  if  one  may  be  allowed  to  say  so,  it  is  purely  autoerotic,  or  at  most  it 
perhaps  shows  a  slight  homosexual  thread  (the  dentist). 

The  second  point  which  seems  to  be  worth  mentioning  is  the  following  : 
The  objection  is  quite  obvious  that  we  are  seeking  here  to  validate  the 
Freudian  conception  in  a  quite  superfluous  manner,  for  the  experiences  of 
the  reading  itself  are  perfectly  sufficient  to  explain  to  us  the  content  of  the 
dream.  The  visit  to  the  dentist,  the  conversation  with  the  lady,  and  the 
reading  of  the  Traumdeutung  are  sufficient  to  explain  why  the  sleeper,  who 
was  also  disturbed  during  the  night  by  toothache,  should  dream  this  dream, 
it  may  even  explain  the  removal  of  the  sleep-disturbing  pain  (by  means  of 
the  presentation  of  the  removal  of  the  painful  tooth  and  simultaneous  over- 
accentuation  of  the  dreaded  painful  sensation  through  libido).  But  no 
matter  how  much  of  this  assumption  we  may  admit,  we  cannot  earnestly 
maintain  that  the  readings  of  Freud's  explanations  have  produced  in  the 
dreamer  the  connection  of  the  tooth-pulling  with  the  act  of  masturbation ; 
it  could  not  even  have  been  made  effective  had  it  not  been  for  the  fact, 
as  the  dreamer  himself  admitted  ('to  pull  one  off')  that  this  association 
had  already  been  formed  long  ago.  What  may  have  still  more  stimulated 
this  association  in  connection  with  the  conversation  with  the  lady  is  shown 
by  a  later  assertion  of  the  dreamer  that  while  reading  the  Traumdeutung  he 
could  not,  for  obvious  reasons,  believe  in  this  typical  meaning  of  dreams  of 
dental  irritation,  and  entertained  the  wish  to  know  whether  it  held  true  for 
all  dreams  of  this  nature.  The  dream  now  confirms  this  at  least  for  his  own 
person,  and  shows  him  why  he  had  to  doubt  it.  The  dream  is  therefore  also 
in  this  respect  the  fulfilment  of  a  wish  ;  namely,  to  be  convinced  of  the 
importance  and  stability  of  this  conception  of  Freud." 


and  dizziness  attached  to  it ;  in  after  years  they  create  a 
repetition  of  this  in  the  dream,  but  in  the  dream  they  omit 
the  hands  which  have  held  them,  so  that  they  now  freely  float 
and  fall.  The  fondness  of  all  small  children  for  games  like 
rocking  and  see-sawing  is  well  known  ;  and  if  they  see  gym- 
nastic tricks  at  the  circus  their  recollection  of  this  rocking  is 
refreshed.  With  some  boys  the  hysterical  attack  consists 
simply  in  the  reproduction  of  such  tricks,  which  they  accom- 
plish with  great  skill.  Not  infrequently  sexual  sensations  are 
excited  by  these  movement  games,  harmless  as  they  are  in 
themselves.*  To  express  the  idea  by  a  word  which  is  current 
among  us,  and  which  covers  all  of  these  matters  :  It  is  the  wild 
playing  ("  Hetzen  ")  of  childhood  which  dreams  about  flying, 
falling,  vertigo,  and  the  like  repeat,  and  the  voluptuous  feelings 
of  which  have  now  been  turned  into  fear.  But  as  every 
mother  knows,  the  wild  playing  of  children  has  often  enough 
culminated  in  quarrelling  and  tears. 

I  therefore  have  good  reason  for  rejecting  the  explanation 
that  the  condition  of  our  dermal  sensations  during  sleep,  the 
sensations  caused  by  the  movements  of  the  lungs,  and  the 
like,  give  rise  to  dreams  of  flying  and  falling.  I  see  that  these 
very  sensations  have  been  reproduced  from  the  memory  with 
which  the  dream  is  concerned — that  they  are,  therefore,  a  part 
of  the  dream  content  and  not  of  the  dream  sources. 

This  material,  similar  in  its  character  and  origin  consisting 
of  sensations  of  motion,  is  now  used  for  the  representation  of 
the  most  manifold  dream  thoughts.  Dreams  of  flying,  for 
the  most  part  characterised  by  delight,  require  the  most  widely 
different  interpretations — altogether  special  interpretations  in 
the  case  of  some  persons,  and  even  interpretations  of  a  typical 
nature  in  that  of  others.  One  of  my  patients  was  in  the  habit 
of  dreaming  very  often  that  she  was  suspended  above  the 

*  A  young  colleague,  who  is  entirely  free  from  nervousness,  tells  me  in 
this  connection :  "  I  know  from  my  own  experience  that  while  swinging, 
and  at  the  moment  at  which  the  downward  movement  had  the  greatest 
impetus,  I  used  to  get  a  curious  feeling  in  my  genitals,  which  I  must  desig- 
nate, although  it  was  not  really  pleasant  to  me,  as  a  voluptuous  feeling." 
I  have  often  heard  from  patients  that  their  first  erections  accompanied  by 
voluptuous  sensations  had  occurred  in  boyhood  while  they  were  climbing. 
It  is  established  with  complete  certainty  by  psychoanalyses  that  the  first 
sexual  impulses  have  often  originated  in  the  scufflings  and  wrestlings  of 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        239 

street  at  a  certain  height,  without  touching  the  ground.  She 
had  grown  only  to  a  very  small  stature,  and  shunned  every 
kind  of  contamination  which  accompanies  intercourse  with 
human  beings.  Her  dream  of  suspension  fulfilled  both  of  her 
wishes,  by  raising  her  feet  from  the  ground  and  by  allowing  her 
head  to  tower  in  the  upper  regions.  In  the  case  of  other 
female  dreamers  the  dream  of  flying  had  the  significance  of  a 
longing  :  If  I  were  a  little  bird ;  others  thus  become  angels 
at  night  because  they  have  missed  being  called  that  by  day. 
The  intimate  connection  between  flying  and  the  idea  of  a  bird 
makes  it  comprehensible  that  the  dream  of  flying  in  the  case 
of  men  usually  has  a  significance  of  coarse  sensuality.*  We 
shall  also  not  be  surprised  to  hear  that  this  or  that  dreamer  is 
always  very  proud  of  his  ability  to  fly. 

Dr.  Paul  Federn  (Vienna)  has  propounded  the  fascinating 
theory  that  a  great  many  flying  dreams  are  erection  dreams, 
since  the  remarkable  phenomena  of  erection  which  so  con- 
stantly occupy  the  human  phantasy  must  strongly  impress 
upon  it  a  notion  of  the  suspension  of  gravity  (c/.  the  winged 
phalli  of  the  ancients). 

Dreams  of  falling  are  most  frequently  characterised  by 
fear.  Their  interpretation,  when  they  occur  in  women,  is 
subject  to  no  difficulty  because  women  always  accept  the 
symbolic  sense  of  falling,  which  is  a  circumlocution  for  the 
indulgence  of  an  erotic  temptation.  We  have  not  yet  ex- 
hausted the  infantile  sources  of  the  dream  of  falling  ;  nearly 
all  children  have  fallen  occasionally,  and  then  been  picked  up 
and  fondled  ;  if  they  fell  out  of  bed  at  night,  they  were  picked 
up  by  their  nurse  and  taken  into  her  bed. 

People  who  dream  often  of  swimming,  of  cleaving  the  waves, 
with  great  enjoyment,  &c,  have  usually  been  persons  who 
wetted  their  beds,  and  they  now  repeat  in  the  dream  a  pleasure 
which  they  have  long  since  learned  to  forgo.  We  shall  soon 
learn  from  one  example  or  another  to  what  representation  the 
dreams  of  swimming  easily  lend  themselves. 

The  interpretation  of  dreams  about  fire  justifies  a  pro- 
hibition of  the  nursery  which  forbids  children  to  burn  matches 
in  order  that  they  may  not  wet  the  bed  at  night.     They  too  are 

*  This  naturally  holds  true  only  for  German-speaking  dreamers  who  are 
acquainted  with  the  vulgarism  "  vögeln." 


based  on  the  reminiscence  of  enuresis  noctumus  of  childhood. 
In  the  Bruchstück  einer  Hysterieanälyse,  1905,*  I  have  given 
the  complete  analysis  and  synthesis  of  such  a  fire-dream  in 
connection  with  the  infantile  history  of  the  dreamer,  and  have 
shown  to  the  representation  of  what  emotions  this  infantile 
material  has  been  utilised  in  maturer  years. 

It  would  be  possible  to  cite  a  considerable  number  of  other 
"  typical "  dreams,  if  these  are  understood  to  refer  to  the 
frequent  recurrence  of  the  same  manifest  dream  content  in 
the  case  of  different  dreamers,  as,  for  example  :  dreams  of 
passing  through  narrow  alleys,  of  walking  through  a  whole 
suite  of  rooms  ;  dreams  of  the  nocturnal  burglar  against  whom 
nervous  people  direct  precautionary  measures  before  going  to 
sleep  ;  dreams  of  being  chased  by  wild  animals  (bulls,  horses), 
or  of  being  threatened  with  knives,  daggers,  and  lances.  The 
last  two  are  characteristic  as  the  manifest  dream  content  of 
persons  suffering  from  anxiety,  &c.  An  investigation  dealing 
especially  with  this  material  would  be  well  worth  while.  In 
lieu  of  this  I  have  two  remarks  to  offer,  which,  however,  do  not 
apply  exclusively  to  typical  dreams. 

I.  The  more  one  is  occupied  with  the  solution  of  dreams, 
the  more  willing  one  must  become  to  acknowledge  that  the 
majority  of  the  dreams  of  adults  treat  of  sexual  material  and 
give  expression  to  erotic  wishes.  Only  one  who  really  analyses 
dreams,  that  is  to  say,  who  pushes  forward  from  their  manifest 
content  to  the  latent  dream  thoughts,  can  form  an  opinion  on 
this  subject — never  the  person  who  is  satisfied  with  registering 
the  manifest  content  (as,  for  example,  Nacke  in  his  works  on 
sexual  dreams).  Let  us  recognise  at  once  that  this  fact  is 
not  to  be  wondered  at,  but  that  it  is  in  complete  harmony  with 
the  fundamental  assumptions  of  dream  explanation.  No 
other  impulse  has  had  to  undergo  so  much  suppression  from 
the  time  of  childhood  as  the  sex  impulse  in  its  numerous  com- 
ponents, t  from  no  other  impulse  have  survived  so  many  and 
such  intense  unconscious  wishes,  which  now  act  in  the  sleeping 
state  in  such  a  manner  as  to  produce  dreams.  In  dream 
interpretation,  this  significance  of  sexual  complexes  must  never 

*  Sammlung  kl.  Schriften  zur  Neurosenlehre,  zweite  Folge,  1909. 
f  Of.  the  author's  Three  Contributions  to  the  Sexual  Theory,  translated  by 
A.  A.  Brill. 

THE    MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS         241 

be  forgotten,  nor  must  they,  of  course,  be  exaggerated  to  the 
point  of  being  considered  exclusive. 

Of  many  dreams  it  can  be  ascertained  by  a  careful  inter- 
pretation that  they  are  even  to  be  taken  bisexually,  inasmuch  as 
they  result  in  an  irrefutable  secondary  interpretation  in  which 
they  realise  homosexual  feelings — that  is,  feelings  that  are 
common  to  the  normal  sexual  activity  of  the  dreaming  person. 
But  that  all  dreams  are  to  be  interpreted  bisexually,  as  main- 
tained by  W.  Stekel,*  and  Alf.  Adler, f  seems  to  me  to  be  a 
generalisation  as  indemonstrable  as  it  is  improbable,  which  I 
should  not  like  to  support.  Above  all  I  should  not  know  how 
to  dispose  of  the  apparent  fact  that  there  are  many  dreams 
satisfying  other  than — in  the  widest  sense — erotic  needs,  as 
dreams  of  hunger,  thirst,  convenience,  &c.  Likewise  the 
similar  assertions  "  that  behind  every  dream  one  finds  the 
death  sentence  "  (Stekel),  and  that  every  dream  shows  "  a 
continuation  from  the  feminine  to  the  masculine  line  "  (Adler), 
seem  to  me  to  proceed  far  beyond  what  is  admissible  in  the 
interpretation  of  dreams. 

We  have  already  asserted  elsewhere  that  dreams  which 
are  conspicuously  innocent  invariably  embody  coarse  erotic 
wishes,  and  we  might  confirm  this  by  means  of  numerous  fresh 
examples.  But  many  dreams  which  appear  indifferent,  and 
which  would  never  be  suspected  of  any  particular  significance, 
can  be  traced  back,  after  analysis,  to  unmistakably  sexual 
wish-feelings,  which  are  often  of  an  unexpected  nature.  For 
example,  who  would  suspect  a  sexual  wish  in  the  following 
dream  until  the  interpretation  had  been  worked  out  ?  The 
dreamer  relates  :  Between  two  stately  palaces  stands  a  little 
house,  receding  somewhat,  whose  doors  are  closed.  My  wife 
leads  me  a  little  way  along  the  street  up  to  the  little  house,  and 
pushes  in  the  door,  and  then  I  slip  quickly  and  easily  into  the 
interior  of  a  courtyard  that  slants  obliquely  upwards. 

Anyone  who  has  had  experience  in  the  translating  of  dreams 
will,  of  course,  immediately  perceive  that  penetrating  into 
narrow    spaces,    and    opening    locked    doors,    belong    to    the 

*  W.  Stekel,  Die  Sprache  des  Traumes,  1911. 

t  Alf.  Adler,  "Der  Psychische  Hermaphroditisrnus  im  Leben  und  in  der 
Nexirose,"  Fortschrifte  der  Medizin,  1910,  No.  16,  and  later  works  in  the 
Zentralblatt  für  Psychoanalyse,  1,  1910-1911. 


commonest  sexual  symbolism,  and  will  easily  find  in  this 
dream  a  representation  of  attempted  coition  from  behind 
(between  the  two  stately  buttocks  of  the  female  body).  The 
narrow  slanting  passage  is  of  course  the  vagina  ;  the  assistance 
attributed  to  the  wife  of  the  dreamer  requires  the  interpretation 
that  in  reality  it  is  only  consideration  for  the  wife  which  is 
responsible  for  the  detention  from  such  an  attempt.  Moreover, 
inquiry  shows  that  on  the  previous  day  a  young  girl  had  entered 
the  household  of  the  dreamer  who  had  pleased  him,  and  who 
had  given  him  the  impression  that  she  would  not  be  altogether 
opposed  to  an  approach  of  this  sort.  The  little  house  between 
the  two  palaces  is  taken  from  a  reminiscence  of  the  Hradschin 
in  Prague,  and  thus  points  again  to  the  girl  who  is  a  native  of 
that  city. 

If  with  my  patients  I  emphasise  the  frequency  of  the 
Oedipus  dream — of  having  sexual  intercourse  with  one's 
mother — I  get  the  answer  :  "I  cannot  remember  such  a 
dream."  Immediately  afterwards,  however,  there  arises  the 
recollection  of  another  disguised  and  indifferent  dream,  which 
has  been  dreamed  repeatedly  by  the  patient,  and  the  analysis 
shows  it  to  be  a  dream  of  this  same  content — that  is,  another 
Oedipus  dream.  I  can  assure  the  reader  that  veiled  dreams  of 
sexual  intercourse  with  the  mother  are  a  great  deal  more 
frequent  than  open  ones  to  the  same  effect.* 

There  are  dreams  about  landscapes  and  localities  in  which 
emphasis  is  always  laid  upon  the  assurance  :  "I  have  been 
there  before."  In  this  case  the  locality  is  always  the  genital 
organ  of  the  mother  ;    it  can  indeed  be  asserted  with  such 

*  I  have  published  a  typical  example  of  such  a  veiled  Oedipus  dream  in 
No.  1  of  the  Zentralblatt  für  Psychoanalyse ;  another  with  a  detailed  analysis 
was  reported  in  the  same  journal,  No.  IV.,  by  Otto  Rank.  Indeed  the 
ancients  were  not  unfamiliar  with  tbe  symbolic  interpretation  of  the  open 
Oedipus  dream  (see  0.  Rank,106  p.  534) ;  thus  a  dream  of  sexual  relations 
with  the  motber  has  been  transmitted  to  us  by  Julius  Caesar  which  the 
oneiroscopists  interpreted  as  a  favourable  omen  for  taking  possession  of  the 
earth  (Mother-earth).  It  is  also  known  that  the  oracle  declared  to  the 
Tarquinii  that  that  one  of  them  would  become  ruler  of  Eome  who  should 
first  kiss  the  mother  (osculum  matri  tulerit),  which  Brutus  conceived  as 
referring  to  the  mother-earth  (terra/m  osculo  contigit,  scilicet  quod  ea  communia 
mater  omnium  mortalium  esset,  Livius,  I.,  lxi.).  These  myths  and  interpreta- 
tions point  to  a  correct  psychological  knowledge.  I  have  found  that  persons 
who  consider  themselves  preferred  or  favoured  by  their  mothers  manifest 
in  life  that  confidence  in  themselves  and  that  firm  optimism  which  often 
seems  heroic  and  brings  about  real  success  by  force. 

THE    MATERIAL    OF    DREAMS        243 

certainty  of  no  other  locality  that  one  "  has  been  there 

A  large  number  of  dreams,  often  full  of  fear,  which  are  con- 
cerned with  passing  through  narrow  spaces  or  with  staying  in 
the  water,  are  based  upon  fancies  about  the  embryonic  life, 
about  the  sojourn  in  the  mother's  womb,  and  about  the  act 
of  birth.  The  following  is  the  dream  of  a  young  man  who  in 
his  fancy  has  already  while  in  embryo  taken  advantage  of 
his  opportunity  to  spy  upon  an  act  of  coition  between  his 

"  He  is  in  a  deep  shaft,  in  which  there  is  a  window,  as  in  the 
Semmering  Tunnel.  At  first  he  sees  an  empty  landscape  through 
this  window,  and  then  he  composes  a  picture  into  it,  which  is 
immediately  at  hand  and  which  fills  out  the  empty  space.  The 
picture  represents  a  field  which  is  being  thoroughly  harrowed  by  an 
implement,  and  the  delightful  air,  the  accompanying  idea  of  hard 
work,  and  the  bluish-black  clods  of  earth  make  a  pleasant  im- 
pression. He  then  goes  on  and  sees  a  primary  school  opened  .  .  . 
and  he  is  surprised  that  so  much  attention  is  devoted  in  it  to  the 
sexual  feelings  of  the  child,  which  makes  him  think  of  me." 

Here  is  a  pretty  water-dream  of  a  female  patient,  which 
was  turned  to  extraordinary  account  in  the  course  of  treat- 

At  her  summer  resort  at  the  .  .  .  Lake,  she  hurls  herself  into 
the  dark  water  at  a  place  where  the  pale  moon  is  reflected  in  the 

Dreams  of  this  sort  are  parturition  dreams  ;  their  inter- 
pretation is  accomplished  by  reversing  the  fact  reported  in 
the  manifest  dream  content ;  thus,  instead  of  "  throwing  one's 
self  into  the  water,"  read  "  coming  out  of  the  water,"  that  is, 
"  being  born."  The  place  from  which  one  is  born  is  recognised 
if  one  thinks  of  the  bad  sense  of  the  French  "  la  lune."  The 
pale  moon  thus  becomes  the  white  "  bottom  "  (Popo),  which 
the  child  soon  recognises  as  the  place  from  which  it  came. 
Now  what  can  be  the  meaning  of  the  patient's  wishing  to  be 
born  at  her  summer  resort  ?  I  asked  the  dreamer  this,  and 
she  answered  without  hesitation  :  "  Hasn't  the  treatment 
made  me  as  though  I  were  born  again  ?  "  Thus  the  dream 
becomes  an  invitation  to  continue  the  cure  at  this  summer 
resort,  that  is,  to  visit  her  there  ;    perhaps  it  also  contains 


a  very  bashful  allusion  to  the  wish  to  become  a  mother 

Another  dream  of  parturition,  with  its  interpretation,  I 
take  from  the  work  of  E.  Jones.95  "  She  stood  at  the  seashore 
watching  a  small  boy,  who  seemed  to  be  hers,  wading  into  the 
water.  This  he  did  till  the  water  covered  him,  and  she  could  only 
see  his  head  bobbing  up  and  down  near  the  surface.  The  scene 
then  changed  to  the  crowded  hall  of  a  hotel.  Her  husband  left 
her,  and  she  '  entered  into  conversation  with '  a  stranger."  The 
second  half  of  the  dream  was  discovered  in  the  analysis  to 
represent  a  flight  from  her  husband,  and  the  entering  into  inti- 
mate relations  with  a  third  person,  behind  whom  was  plainly 
indicated  Mr.  X.'s  brother  mentioned  in  a  former  dream.  The 
first  part  of  the  dream  was  a  fairly  evident  birth  phantasy.  In 
dreams  as  in  mythology,  the  delivery  of  a  child  from  the  uterine 
waters  is  commonly  presented  by  distortion  as  the  entry  of  the 
child  into  water  ;  among  many  others,  the  births  of  Adonis, 
Osiris,  Moses,  and  Bacchus  are  well-known  illustrations  of  this. 
The  bobbing  up  and  down  of  the  head  in  the  water  at  once 
recalled  to  the  patient  the  sensation  of  quickening  she  had 
experienced  in  her  only  pregnancy.  Thinking  of  the  boy  going 
into  the  water  induced  a  reverie  in  which  she  saw  herself  taking 
him  out  of  the  water,  carrying  him  into  the  nursery,  washing 
him  and  dressing  him,  and  installing  him  in  her  household. 

The  second  half  of  the  dream,  therefore,  represents  thoughts 
concerning  the  elopement,  which  belonged  to  the  first  half  of 
the  underlying  latent  content ;  the  first  half  of  the  dream  cor- 
responded with  the  second  half  of  the  latent  content,  the  birth 
phantasy.  Besides  this  inversion  in  order,  further  inversions 
took  place  in  each  half  of  the  dream.  In  the  first  half  the  child 
entered  the  water,  and  then  his  head  bobbed  ;  in  the  underlying 
dream  thoughts  first  the  quickening  occurred,  and  then  the  child 
left  the  water  (a  double  inversion).  In  the  second  half  her 
husband  left  her ;  in  the  dream  thoughts  she  left  her  husband. 

*  It  is  only  of  late  that  I  have  learned  to  value  the  significance  of  fancies 
and  unconscious  thoughts  about  life  in  the  womb.  They  contain  the  ex- 
planation of  the  curious  fear  felt  by  so  many  people  of  being  buried  alive, 
as  well  as  the  profoundest  unconscious  reason  for  the  belief  in  a  life  after 
death  which  represents  nothing  but  a  projection  into  the  future  of  this 
mysterious  life  before  birth.  The  act  of  birth,  moreover,  is  the  first  experience 
with  fear,  and  is  thus  the  source  and  model  of  the  emotion  of  fear. 

THE  MATERIAL   OF  DREAMS        245 

Another  parturition  dream  is  related  by  Abraham  79  of  a 
young  woman  looking  forward  to  her  first  confinement  (p.  22)  : 
From  a  place  in  the  floor  of  the  house  a  subterranean  canal  leads 
directly  into  the  water  (parturition  path,  amniotic  liquor).  She 
lifts  up  a  trap  in  the  floor,  and  there  immediately  appears  a 
creature  dressed  in  a  brownish  fur,  which  almost  resembles 
a  seal.  This  creature  changes  into  the  younger  brother  of 
the  dreamer,  to  whom  she  has  always  stood  in  maternal 

Dreams  of  "  saving  "  are  connected  with  parturition  dreams. 
To  save,  especially  to  save  from  the  water,  is  equivalent  to 
giving  birth  when  dreamed  by  a  woman  ;  this  sense  is,  however, 
modified  when  the  dreamer  is  a  man.* 

Robbers,  burglars  at  night,  and  ghosts,  of  which  we  are 
afraid  before  going  to  bed,  and  which  occasionally  even  disturb 
our  sleep,  originate  in  one  and  the  same  childish  reminiscence. 
They  are  the  nightly  visitors  who  have  awakened  the  child  to 
set  it  on  the  chamber  so  that  it  may  not  wet  the  bed,  or  have 
lifted  the  clover  in  order  to  see  clearly  how  the  child  is  holding 
its  hands  while  sleeping.  I  have  been  able  to  induce  an  exact 
recollection  of  the  nocturnal  visitor  hi  the  analysis  of  some  of 
these  anxiety  dreams.  The  robbers  were  always  the  father, 
the  ghosts  more  probably  corresponded  to  feminine  persons 
with  white  night-gowns. 

II.  When  one  has  become  familiar  with  the  abundant  use 
of  symbolism  for  the  representation  of  sexual  material  in 
dreams,  one  naturally  raises  the  question  whether  there  are 
not  many  of  these  symbols  which  appear  once  and  for  all  with 
a  firmly  established  significance  like  the  signs  in  stenography  ; 
and  one  is  tempted  to  compile  a  new  dream-book  according  to 
the  cipher  method.  In  this  connection  it  may  be  remarked 
that  this  symbolism  does  not  belong  peculiarly  to  the  dream, 
but  rather  to  unconscious  thinking,  particularly  that  of  the 
masses,  and  it  is  to  be  found  in  greater  perfection  in  the  folk- 
lore, in  the  myths,  legends,  and  manners  of  speech,  in  the 

*  For  such  a  dream  see  Pfister  :  "  Ein  Fall  von  Psychanalytischer  Seelen- 
sorge und  Seelenheilung,"  Evangelische  Freiheit,  1909.  Concerning  the  symbol 
of  "saving"  see  my  lecture,  "Die  Zukünftigen  Chancen  der  psychoanaly- 
tischen Therapie,"  Zentralblatt  für  Psychoanalyse,  No  I.,  1910.  Also  "Beit- 
räge zur  Psychologie  des  Liebeslebens,  I.  Ueber  einen  besonderen  Typus  der 
objektwahl  beim  Manne,"  Jahrbuch,  Bleuler-Freud,  vol.  ii.,  1910. 


proverbial  sayings,  and  in  the  current  witticisms  of  a  nation 
than  in  its  dreams.* 

The  dream  takes  advantage  of  this  symbolism  in  order  to 
give  a  disguised  representation  to  its  latent  thoughts.  Among 
the  symbols  which  are  used  in  this  manner  there  are  of  course 
many  which  regularly,  or  almost  regularly,  mean  the  same  thing. 
Only  it  is  necessary  to  keep  in  mind  the  curious  plasticity  of 
psychic  material.  Now  and  then  a  symbol  in  the  dream  content 
may  have  to  be  interpreted  not  symbolically,  but  according  to 
its  real  meaning  ;  at  another  time  the  dreamer,  owing  to  a 
peculiar  set  of  recollections,  may  create  for  himself  the  right  to 
use  anything  whatever  as  a  sexual  symbol,  though  it  is  not 
ordinarily  used  in  that  way.  Nor  are  the  most  frequently 
used  sexual  symbols  unambiguous  every  time. 

After  these  limitations  and  reservations  I  may  call  attention 
to  the  following  :  Emperor  and  Empress  (King  and  Queen)  in 
most  cases  really  represent  the  parents  of  the  dreamer ;  f 
the  dreamer  himself  or  herself  is  the  prince  or  princess.  All 
elongated  objects,  sticks,  tree-trunks,  and  umbrellas  (on  account 
of  the  stretching-up  which  might  be  compared  to  an  erection  ! 
all  elongated  and  sharp  weapons,  knives,  daggers,  and  pikes, 
are  intended  to  represent  the  male  member.  A  frequent,  not 
very  intelligible,  symbol  for  the  same  is  a  nail-file  (on  account 
of  the  rubbing  and  scraping  ?).  Little  cases,  boxes,  caskets, 
closets,  and  stoves  correspond  to  the  female  part.  The  sym- 
bolism of  lock  and  key  has  been  very  gracefully  employed  by 
Unland  in  his  song  about  the  "  Grafen  Eberstein,"  to  make  a 
common  smutty  joke.  The  dream  of  walking  through  a  row 
of  rooms  is  a  brothel  or  harem  dream.  Staircases,  ladders,  and 
nights  of  stairs,  or  climbing  on  these,  either  upwards  or  down- 
wards, are  symbolic  representations  of  the  sexual  act.  J     Smooth 

*  Cf.  the  works  of  Bleuler  and  of  his  pupils  Maeder,  Abraham,  and 
others  of  the  Zurich  school  upon  symbolism,  and  of  those  authors  who  are 
not  physicians  (Kleinpaul  and  others),  to  which  they  refer. 

T  In  this  country  the  President,  the  Governor,  and  the  Mayor  often 
represent  the  father  in  the  dream.     (Translator.) 

X  I  may  here  repeat  what  I  have  said  in  another  place  ("Die  Zukünf- 
tigen Chancen  der  psychoanalytischen  Therapie,"  Zentralblatt  für  Psycho- 
analyse, I.,  No.  1  and  2,  1910) :  "  Some  time  ago  I  learned  that  a  psychologist 
who  is  unfamiliar  with  our  work  remarked  to  one  of  my  friends  that  we  are 
surely  over-estimating  the  secret  sexual  significance  of  dreams.  He  stated 
that  his  most  frequent  dream  was  of  climbing  a  stairway,  and  that  there 
was  surely  nothing  sexual  behind  this.     Our  attention  having  been  called 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        247 

walls  over  which  one  is  climbing,  facades  of  houses  upon 
which  one  is  letting  oneself  down,  frequently  under  great 
anxiety,  correspond  to  the  erect  human  body,  and  probably 
repeat  in  the  dream  reminiscences  of  the  upward  climbing  of 
little  children  on  their  parents  or  foster  parents.  "  Smooth  " 
walls  are  men.  Often  in  a  dream  of  anxiety  one  is  holding  on 
firmly  to  some  projection  from  a  house.  Tables,  set  tables, 
and  boards  are  women,  perhaps  on  account  of  the  opposition 
which  does  away  with  the  bodily  contours.  Since  "  bed  and 
board  "  (mensa  et  thorus)  constitute  marriage,  the  former  are 
often  put  for  the  latter  in  the  dream,  and  as  far  as  practicable 
the  sexual  presentation  complex  is  transposed  to  the  eating 
complex.  Of  articles  of  dress  the  woman's  hat  may  frequently 
be  definitely  interpreted  as  the  male  genital.  In  dreams  of 
men  one  often  finds  the  cravat  as  a  symbol  for  the  penis  ;  this 
indeed  is  not  only  because  cravats  hang  down  long,  and  are 
characteristic  of  the  man,  but  also  because  one  can  select  them 
at  pleasure,  a  freedom  which  is  prohibited  by  nature  in  the 
original  of  the  symbol.  Persons  who  make  use  of  this  symbol 
in  the  dream  are  very  extravagant  with  cravats,  and  possess 
regular  collections  of  them.*  All  complicated  machines  and 
apparatus  in  dream  are  very  probably  genitals,  in  the  descrip- 
tion of  which  dream  symbolism  shows  itself  to  be  as  tireless  as 
the  activity  of  wit.  Likewise  many  landscapes  in  dreams, 
especially  with  bridges  or  with  wooded  mountains,  can  be 
readily  recognised  as  descriptions  of  the  genitals.  Finally 
where  one  finds  incomprehensible  neologisms  one  may  think 
of   combinations  made   up   of   components   having   a   sexual 

to  this  objection,  we  directed  our  investigations  to  the  occurrence  of  stair- 
ways, stairs,  and  ladders  in  the  dream,  and  we  soon  ascertained  that  stairs 
(or  anything  analogous  to  them)  represent  a  definite  symbol  of  coitus.  The 
basis  for  this  comparison  is  not  difficult  to  find  ;  under  rhythmic  intervals 
and  with  increasing  difficulty  in  breathing  one  reaches  to  a  height,  and  may 
come  down  again  in  a  few  rapid  jumps.  Thus  the  rhythm  of  coitus  is  re- 
cognisable in  climbing  stairs.  Let  us  not  forget  to  consider  the  usage  of 
language.  It  shows  us  that  the  "climbing"  or  "mounting"  is,  without 
further  addition,  \ised  as  a  substitutive  designation  of  the  sexual  act.  In 
French  the  step  of  the  stairway  is  called  "  la  marche"  ;  " un  vieux  niarcheur" 
corresponds  exactly  to  our  "an  old  climber." 

*  In  this  country  where  the  word  "  necktie  "  is  almost  exclusively  used, 
the  translator  has  also  found  it  to  be  a  symbol  of  a  burdensome  woman 
from  whom  the  dreamer  longs  to  be  freed — "  necktie — something  tied  to  my 
neck  like  a  heavy  weight — my  fiancee,"  are  the  associations  from  the  dream 
of  a  man  who  eventually  broke  his  marriage  engagement. 


significance.  Children  also  in  the  dream  often  signify  the 
genitals,  as  men  and  women  are  in  the  habit  of  fondly  referring 
to  their  genital  organ  as  their  "  little  one."  As  a  very  recent 
symbol  of  the  male  genital  may  be  mentioned  the  flying  machine, 
utilisation  of  which  is  justified  by  its  relation  to  flying  as  well 
as  occasionally  by  its  form.  To  play  with  a  little  child  or  to 
beat  a  little  one  is  often  the  dream's  representation  of  onanism. 
A  number  of  other  symbols,  in  part  not  sufficiently  verified, 
are  given  by  Stekel,114  who  illustrates  them  with  examples. 
Right  and  left,  according  to  him,  are  to  be  conceived  in  the 
dream  in  an  ethical  sense.  "  The  right  way  always  signifies 
the  road  to  righteousness,  the  left  the  one  to  crime.  Thus  the 
left  may  signify  homosexuality,  incest,  and  perversion,  while 
the  right  signifies  marriage,  relations  with  a  prostitute,  &c. 
The  meaning  is  always  determined  by  the  individual  moral 
view-point  of  the  dreamer  "  (I.e.,  p.  466).  Relatives  in  the 
dream  generally  play  the  role  of  genitals  (p.  473).  Not  to  be 
able  to  catch  up  with  a  wagon  is  interpreted  by  Stekel  as 
regret  not  to  be  able  to  come  up  to  a  difference  in  age  (p.  479). 
Baggage  with  which  one  travels  is  the  burden  of  sin  by  which 
one  is  oppressed  (ibid.).  Also  numbers,  which  frequently 
occur  in  the  dream,  are  assigned  by  Stekel  a  fixed  symbolical 
meaning,  but  these  interpretations  seem  neither  sufficiently 
verified  nor  of  general  validity,  although  the  interpretation  in 
individual  cases  can  generally  be  recognised  as  probable.  In 
a  recently  published  book  by  W.  Stekel,  Die  Sprache  des 
Traumes,  which  I  was  unable  to  utilise,  there  is  a  list  (p.  72) 
of  the  most  common  sexual  symbols,  the  object  of  which  is  to 
prove  that  all  sexual  symbols  can  be  bisexually  used.  He 
states  :  "Is  there  a  symbol  which  (if  in  any  way  permitted  by 
the  phantasy)  may  not  be  used  simultaneously  in  the  masculine 
and  the  feminine  sense  !  "  To  be  sure  the  clause  in  parentheses 
takes  away  much  of  the  absoluteness  of  this  assertion,  for 
this  is  not  at  all  permitted  by  the  phantasy.  I  do  not,  however, 
think  it  superfluous  to  state  that  in  my  experience  Stekel's 
general  statement  has  to  give  way  to  the  recognition  of  a 
greater  manifoldness.  Besides  those  symbols,  which  are  just 
as  frequent  for  the  male  as  for  the  female  genitals,  there  are 
others  which  preponderately,  or  almost  exclusively,  designate 
one  of  the  sexes,  and  there  are  still  others  of  which  only  the 

THE   MATERIAL   OF  DREAMS        249 

male  or  only  the  female  signification  is  known.  To  use  long, 
firm  objects  and  weapons  as  symbols  of  the  female  genitals, 
or  hollow  objects  (chests,  boxes,  pouches,  &c),  as  symbols  of 
the  male  genitals,  is  indeed  not  allowed  by  the  fancy. 

It  is  true  that  the  tendency  of  the  dream  and  the  uncon- 
scious fancy  to  utilise  the  sexual  symbol  bisexually  betrays 
an  archaic  trend,  for  in  childhood  a  difference  in  the  genitals 
is  unknown,  and  the  same  genitals  are  attributed  to  both 

These  very  incomplete  suggestions  may  suffice  to  stimulate 
others  to  make  a  more  careful  collection.* 

I  shall  now  add  a  few  examples  of  the  application  of  such 
symbolisms  in  dreams,  which  will  serve  to  show  how  im- 
possible it  becomes  to  interpret  a  dream  without  taking  into 
account  the  symbolism  of  dreams,  and  how  imperatively  it 
obtrudes  itself  in  many  cases. 

1.  The  hat  as  a  symbol  of  the  man  (of  the  male  genital)  :  f 
(a  fragment  from  the  dream  of  a  young  woman  who  suffered 
from  agoraphobia  on  account  of  a  fear  of  temptation). 

"  I  am  walking  in  the  street  in  summer,  I  wear  a  straw  hat 
of  peculiar  shape,  the  middle  piece  of  which  is  bent  upwards 
and  the  side  pieces  of  which  hang  downwards  (the  description 
became  here  obstructed),  and  in  such  a  fashion  that  one  is 
lower  than  the  other.  I  am  cheerful  and  in  a  confidential 
mood,  and  as  I  pass  a  troop  of  young  officers  I  think  to  myself  : 
None  of  you  can  have  any  designs  upon  me." 

As  she  could  produce  no  associations  to  the  hat,  I  said  to 
her  :  "  The  hat  is  really  a  male  genital,  with  its  raised  middle 
piece  and  the  two  downward  hanging  side  pieces."  I  inten- 
tionally refrained  from  interpreting  those  details  concerning 
the  unequal  downward  hanging  of  the  two  side  pieces,  although 
just  such  individualities  in  the  determinations  lead  the  way  to 
the  interpretation.  I  continued  by  saying  that  if  she  only  had 
a  man  with  such  a  virile  genital  she  would  not  have  to  fear  the 

*  In  spite  of  all  the  differences  between  Schemer's  conception  of  dream 
symbolism  and  the  one  developed  here,  I  must  still  assert  that  Scherner68 
should  be  recognised  as  the  true  discoverer  of  symbolism  in  dreams,  and  that 
the  experience  of  psychoanalysis  has  brought  his  book  into  honourable  repute 
after  it  had  been  considered  fantastic  for  about  fifty  years. 

t  From  "  Nachträge  zur  Traumdeutung,"  Zentralblatt  für  Psychoanalyse,  I., 
No.  5  and  6,  1911. 


officers — that  is,  she  would  have  nothing  to  wish  from  them, 
for  she  is  mainly  kept  from  going  without  protection  and 
company  by  her  fancies  of  temptation.  This  last  explanation 
of  her  fear  I  had  already  been  able  to  give  her  repeatedly  on 
the  basis  of  other  material. 

It  is  quite  remarkable  how  the  dreamer  behaved  after  this 
interpretation.  She  withdrew  her  description  of  the  hat,  and 
claimed  not  to  have  said  that  the  two  side  pieces  were  hanging 
downwards.  I  was,  however,  too  sure  of  what  I  had  heard  to 
allow  myself  to  be  misled,  and  I  persisted  in  it.  She  was  quiet 
for  a  while,  and  then  found  the  courage  to  ask  why  it  was  that 
one  of  her  husband's  testicles  was  lower  than  the  other,  and 
whether  it  was  the  same  in  all  men.  With  this  the  peculiar 
detail  of  the  hat  was  explained,  and  the  whole  interpretation 
was  accepted  by  her.  The  hat  symbol  was  familiar  to  me 
long  before  the  patient  related  this  dream.  From  other  but 
less  transparent  cases  I  believe  that  the  hat  may  also  be  taken 
as  a  female  genital. 

2.  The  little  one  as  the  genital — to  be  run  over  as  a  symbol 
of  sexual  intercourse  (another  dream  of  the  same  agoraphobic 

"  Her  mother  sends  away  her  little  daughter  so  that  she 
must  go  alone.  She  rides  with  her  mother  to  the  railroad  and 
sees  her  little  one  walking  directly  upon  the  tracks,  so  that  she 
cannot  avoid  being  run  over.  She  hears  the  bones  crackle. 
(From  this  she  experiences  a  feeling  of  discomfort  but  no  real 
horror.)  She  then  looks  out  through  the  car  window  to  see 
whether  the  parts  cannot  be  seen  behind.  She  then  reproaches 
her  mother  for  allowing  the  little  one  to  go  out  alone." 
Analysis.  It  is  not  an  easy  matter  to  give  here  a  complete 
interpretation  of  the  dream.  It  forms  part  of  a  cycle  of  dreams, 
and  can  be  fully  understood  only  in  connection  with  the  others. 
For  it  is  not  easy  to  get  the  necessary  material  sufficiently 
isolated  to  prove  the  symbolism.  The  patient  at  first  finds 
that  the  railroad  journey  is  to  be  interpreted  historically  as  an 
allusion  to  a  departure  from  a  sanitorium  for  nervous  diseases, 
with  the  superintendent  of  which  she  naturally  was  in  love. 
Her  mother  took  her  away  from  this  place,  and  the  physician 
came  to  the  railroad  station  and  handed  her  a  bouquet  of 
flowers  on  leaving  ;   she  felt  uncomfortable  because  her  mother 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        251 

witnessed  this  homage.  Here  the  mother,  therefore,  appears 
as  a  disturber  of  her  love  affairs,  which  is  the  role  actually 
played  by  this  strict  woman  during  her  daughter's  girlhood. 
The  next  thought  referred  to  the  sentence  :  "  She  then  looks 
to  see  whether  the  parts  can  be  seen  behind."  In  the  dream 
facade  one  would  naturally  be  compelled  to  think  of  the  parts 
of  the  little  daughter  run  over  and  ground  up.  The  thought, 
however,  turns  in  quite  a  different  direction.  She  recalls 
that  she  once  saw  her  father  in  the  bath-room  naked  from 
behind  ;  she  then  begins  to  talk  about  the  sex  differentiation, 
and  asserts  that  in  the  man  the  genitals  can  be  seen  from 
behind,  but  in  the  woman  they  cannot.  In  this  connection 
she  now  herself  offers  the  interpretation  that  the  little  one  is 
the  genital,  her  little  one  (she  has  a  four-year-old  daughter) 
her  own  genital.  She  reproaches  her  mother  for  wanting  her 
to  live  as  though  she  had  no  genital,  and  recognises  this  re- 
proach in  the  introductory  sentence  of  the  dream  ;  the  mother 
sends  away  her  little  one  so  that  she  must  go  alone.  In  her 
phantasy  going  alone  on  the  street  signifies  to  have  no  man  and 
no  sexual  relations  (coire  =  to  go  together),  and  this  she  does 
not  like.  According  to  all  her  statements  she  really  suffered 
as  a  girl  on  account  of  the  jealousy  of  her  mother,  because  she 
showed  a  preference  for  her  father. 

The  "  little  one  "  has  been  noted  *  as  a  symbol  for  the  male 
or  the  female  genitals  by  Stekel,  who  can  refer  in  this  connec- 
tion to  a  very  widespread  usage  of  language. 

The  deeper  interpretation  of  this  dream  depends  upon 
another  dream  of  the  same  night  in  which  the  dreamer 
identifies  herself  with  her  brother.  She  was  a  "  tomboy," 
and  was  always  being  told  that  she  should  have  been  born  a 
boy.  This  identification  with  the  brother  shows  with  special 
clearness  that  "  the  little  one "  signifies  the  genital.  The 
mother  threatened  him  (her)  with  castration,  which  could  only 
be  understood  as  a  punishment  for  playing  with  the  parts, 
and  the  identification,  therefore,  shows  that  she  herself  had 
masturbated  as  a  child,  though  this  fact  she  now  retained  only 

*  "  Beiträge  zur  Traumdeutung,"  Jahrbuch  für  Psychoanalyt.  und  psychop. 
Forsch.,  Bd.  I.,  1909,  p.  473.  Here  also  (p.  475)  a  dream  is  reported  in 
which  a  hat  with  a  feather  standing  obliquely  in  the  middle  symbolises  the 
(impotent)  man. 


in  a  memory  concerning  her  brother.  An  early  knowledge  of 
the  male  genital  which  she  later  lost  she  must  have  acquired  at 
that  time  according  to  the  assertions  of  this  second  dream. 
Moreover  the  second  dream  points  to  the  infantile  sexual  theory 
that  girls  originate  from  boys  through  castration.  After  I  had 
told  her  of  this  childish  belief ,  she  at  once  confirmed  it  with  an 
anecdote  in  which  the  boy  asks  the  girl  :  "  Was  it  cut  off  ?  " 
to  which  the  girl  replied,  "  No,  it's  always  been  so." 

The  sending  away  of  the  little  one,  of  the  genital,  in  the 
first  dream  therefore  also  refers  to  the  threatened  castration. 
Finally  she  blames  her  mother  for  not  having  been  born  a  boy. 

That  "  being  run  over  "  symbolises  sexual  intercourse  would 
not  be  evident  from  this  dream  if  we  were  not  sure  of  it  from 
many  other  sources. 

3.  Representation  of  the  genital  by  structures,  stairways, 
and  shafts.  (Dream  of  a  young  man  inhibited  by  a  father 

"  He  is  taking  a  walk  with  his  father  in  a  place  which  is 
surely  the  Prater,  for  the  Rotunda  may  be  seen  in  front  of  which 
there  is  a  small  front  structure  to  which  is  attached  a  captive 
balloon  ;  the  balloon,  however,  seems  quite  collapsed.  His 
father  asks  him  what  this  is  all  for  ;  he  is  surprised  at  it,  but 
he  explains  it  to  his  father.  They  come  into  a  court  in  which 
lies  a  large  sheet  of  tin.  His  father  wants  to  pull  off  a  big 
piece  of  this,  but  first  looks  around  to  see  if  anyone  is  watching. 
He  tells  his  father  that  all  he  needs  to  do  is  to  speak  to  the 
watchman,  and  then  he  can  take  without  any  further  difficulty 
as  much  as  he  wants  to.  From  this  court  a  stairway  leads 
down  into  a  shaft,  the  walls  of  which  are  softly  upholstered 
something  like  a  leather  pocketbook.  At  the  end  of  this  shaft 
there  is  a  longer  platform,  and  then  a  new  shaft  begins  .  .   ." 

Analysis.  This  dream  belongs  to  a  type  of  patient  which 
is  not  favourable  from  a  therapeutic  point  of  view.  They 
follow  in  the  analysis  without  offering  any  resistances  whatever 
up  to  a  certain  point,  but  from  that  point  on  they  remain 
almost  inaccessible.  This  dream  he  almost  analysed  himself. 
"  The  Rotunda,"  he  said,  "  is  my  genital,  the  captive  balloon 
in  front  is  my  penis,  about  the  weakness  of  which  I  have 
worried.  We  must,  however,  interpret  in  greater  detail ;  the 
Rotunda  is  the  buttock  which  is  regularly  associated  by  the 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        253 

child  with  the  genital,  the  smaller  front  structure  is  the 
scrotum.  In  the  dream  his  father  asks  him  what  this  is  all 
for — that  is,  he  asks  him  about  the  purpose  and  arrangement 
of  the  genitals.  It  is  quite  evident  that  this  state  of  affairs 
should  be  turned  around,  and  that  he  should  be  the  questioner. 
As  such  a  questioning  on  the  side  of  the  father  has  never  taken 
place  in  reality,  we  must  conceive  the  dream  thought  as  a  wish, 
or  take  it  conditionally,  as  follows  :  "  If  I  had  only  asked  my 
father  for  sexual  enlightenment."  The  continuation  of  this 
thought  we  shall  soon  find  in  another  place. 

The  court  in  which  the  tin  sheet  is  spread  out  is  not  to  be 
conceived  symbolically  in  the  first  instance,  but  originates 
from  his  father's  place  of  business.  For  discretionary  reasons 
I  have  inserted  the  tin  for  another  material  in  which  the  father 
deals,  without,  however,  changing  anything  in  the  verbal  ex- 
pression of  the  dream.  The  dreamer  had  entered  his  father's 
business,  and  had  taken  a  terrible  dislike  to  the  questionable 
practices  upon  which  profit  mainly  depends.  Hence  the  con- 
tinuation of  the  above  dream  thought  ("if  I  had  only  asked 
him  ")  would  be  :  "  He  would  have  deceived  me  just  as  he 
does  his  customers."  For  the  pulling  off,  which  serves  to 
represent  commercial  dishonesty,  the  dreamer  himself  gives  a 
second  explanation — namely,  onanism.  This  is  not  only 
entirely  familiar  to  us  (see  above,  p.  234),  but  agrees  very  well 
with  the  fact  that  the  secrecy  of  onanism  is  expressed  by  its 
opposite  ("  Why  one  can  do  it  quite  openly  ").  It,  moreover, 
agrees  entirely  with  our  expectations  that  the  onanistic  activity 
is  again  put  off  on  the  father,  just  as  was  the  questioning  in  the 
first  scene  of  the  dream.  The  shaft  he  at  once  interprets  as 
the  vagina  by  referring  to  the  soft  upholstering  of  the  walls. 
That  the  act  of  coition  in  the  vagina  is  described  as  a  going 
down  instead  of  in  the  usual  way  as  a  going  up,  I  have  also 
found  true  in  other  instances.* 

The  details  that  at  the  end  of  the  first  shaft  there  is  a 
longer  platform  and  then  a  new  shaft,  he  himself  explains 
biographically.  He  had  for  some  time  consorted  with  women 
sexually,  but  had  then  given  it  up  because  of  inhibitions  and 
now  hopes  to  be  able  to  take  it  up  again  with  the  aid  of  the 
treatment.     The   dream,  however,  becomes  indistinct  toward 

*  Cf.  Zentralblatt  für  psychoanalyse,  I. 


the  end,  and  to  the  experienced  interpreter  it  becomes  evident 
that  in  the  second  scene  of  the  dream  the  influence  of  another 
subject  has  begun  to  assert  itself  ;  in  this  his  father's  business 
and  his  dishonest  practices  signify  the  first  vagina  represented 
as  a  shaft  so  that  one  might  think  of  a  reference  to  the  mother. 

4.  The  male  genital  symbolised  by  persons  and  the  female 
by  a  landscape. 

(Dream  of  a  woman  of  the  lower  class,  whose  husband  is  a 
policeman,  reported  by  B.  Dattner.) 

.  .  .  Then  someone  broke  into  the  house  and  anxiously 
called  for  a  policeman.  But  he  went  with  two  tramps  by 
mutual  consent  into  a  church,*  to  which  led  a  great  many 
stairs  ;  f  behind  the  church  there  was  a  mountain,  J  on  top  of 
which  a  dense  forest.§  The  policeman  was  furnished  with  a 
helmet,  a  gorget,  and  a  cloak.  ||  The  two  vagrants,  who  went 
along  with  the  policeman  quite  peaceably,  had  tied  to  their 
loins  sack-like  aprons.1T  A  road  led  from  the  church  to  the 
mountain.  This  road  was  overgrown  on  each  side  with  grass 
and  brushwood,  which  became  thicker  and  thicker  as  it  reached 
the  height  of  the  mountain,  where  it  spread  out  into  quite  a 

5.  A  stairway  dream. 

(Reported  and  interpreted  by  Otto  Rank.) 
For  the  following  transparent  pollution   dream,    I  am   in- 
debted  to   the   same   colleague   who   furnished   us   with   the 
dental-irritation  dream  reported  on  p.  235. 

"  I  am  running  down  the  stairway  in  the  stair-house  after 
a  little  girl,  whom  I  wish  to  punish  because  she  has  done  some- 
thing to  me.  At  the  bottom  of  the  stairs  some  one  held  the 
child  for  me.  (A  grown-up  woman  ?)  I  grasp  it,  but  do  not 
know  whether  I  have  hit  it,  for  I  suddenly  find  myself  in  the 
middle  of  the  stairway  where  I  practise  coitus  with  the  child 
(in  the  air  as  it  were).  It  is  really  no  coitus,  I  only  rub  my 
genital  on  her  external  genital,  and  in  doing  this  I  see  it  very 
distinctly,   as   distinctly   as   I   see   her    head   which   is   lying 

*  Or  chapel — vagina. 

t  Symbol  of  coitus.  J  Mons  veneris.  §  Crines  pubis. 

||  DemonB  in  cloaks  and  capucines  are,  according  to  the  explanation  of 
a  man  versed  in  the  subject,  of  a  phallic  nature. 
1]  The  two  halves  of  the  scrotum. 

THE   MATERIAL   OF   DREAMS        255 

sideways.  During  the  sexual  act  I  see  hanging  to  the  left  and 
above  me  (also  as  if  in  the  air)  two  small  pictures,  landscapes, 
representing  a  house  on  a  green.  On  the  smaller  one  my 
surname  stood  in  the  place  where  the  painter's  signature 
should  be ;  it  seemed  to  be  intended  for  my  birthday  present. 
A  small  sign  hung  in  front  of  the  pictures  to  the  effect  that 
cheaper  pictures  could  also  be  obtained.  I  then  see  myself 
very  indistinctly  lying  in  bed,  just  as  I  had  seen  myself  at 
the  foot  of  the  stairs,  and  I  am  awakened  by  a  feeling  of 
dampness  which  came  from  the  pollution." 

Interpretation.  The  dreamer  had  been  in  a  book-store  on 
the  evening  of  the  day  of  the  dream,  where,  while  he  was  wait- 
ing, he  examined  some  pictures  which  were  exhibited,  which 
represented  motives  similar  to  the  dream  pictures.  He  stepped 
nearer  to  a  small  picture  which  particularly  took  his  fancy  in 
order  to  see  the  name  of  the  artist,  which,  however,  was  quite 
unknown  to  him. 

Later  in  the  same  evening,  in  company,  he  heard  about  a 
Bohemian  servant-girl  who  boasted  that  her  illegitimate  child 
"  was  made  on  the  stairs."  The  dreamer  inquired  about  the 
details  of  this  unusual  occurrence,  and  learned  that  the  servant- 
girl  went  with  her  lover  to  the  home  of  her  parents,  where 
there  was  no  opportunity  for  sexual  relations,  and  that  the 
excited  man  performed  the  act  on  the  stairs.  In  witty  allu- 
sion to  the  mischievous  expression  used  about  wine-adulterers, 
the  dreamer  remarked,  "  The  child  really  grew  on  the  cellar 

These  experiences  of  the  day,  which  are  quite  prominent 
in  the  dream  content,  were  readily  reproduced  by  the  dreamer. 
But  he  just  as  readily  reproduced  an  old  fragment  of  infantile 
recollection  which  was  also  utilised  by  the  dream.  The  stair- 
house  was  the  house  in  which  he  had  spent  the  greatest  part 
of  his  childhood,  and  in  which  he  had  first  become  acquainted 
with  sexual  problems.  In  this  house  he  used,  among  other 
things,  to  slide  down  the  banister  astride  which  caused  him  to 
become  sexually  excited.  In  the  dream  he  also  comes  down 
the  stairs  very  rapidly — so  rapidly  that,  according  to  his  own 
distinct  assertions,  he  hardly  touched  the  individual  stairs,  but 
rather  "  flew  "  or  "  slid  down,"  as  we  used  to  say.  Upon 
reference  to  this  infantile  experience,   the  beginning  of  the 


dream  seems  to  represent  the  factor  of  sexual  excitement. 
In  the  same  house  and  in  the  adjacent  residence  the  dreamer 
used  to  play  pugnacious  games  with  the  neighbouring  children, 
in  which  he  satisfied  himself  just  as  he  did  in  the  dream. 

If  one  recalls  from  Freud's  investigation  of  sexual  sym- 
bolism *  that  in  the  dream  stairs  or  climbing  stairs  almost 
regularly  symbolises  coitus,  the  dream  becomes  clear.  Its 
motive  power  as  well  as  its  effect,  as  is  shown  by  the  pollu- 
tion, is  of  a  purely  libidinous  nature.  Sexual  excitement 
became  aroused  during  the  sleeping  state  (in  the  dream  this 
is  represented  by  the  rapid  running  or  sliding  down  the  stairs) 
and  the  sadistic  thread  in  this  is,  on  the  basis  of  the  pugnacious 
playing,  indicated  in  the  pursuing  and  overcoming  of  the  child. 
The  libidinous  excitement  becomes  enhanced  and  urges  to 
sexual  action  (represented  in  the  dream  by  the  grasping  of 
the  child  and  the  conveyance  of  it  to  the  middle  of  the  stair- 
way). Up  to  this  point  the  dream  would  be  one  of  pure 
sexual  symbolism,  and  obscure  for  the  unpractised  dream 
interpreter.  But  this  symbolic  gratification,  which  would 
have  insured  undisturbed  sleep,  was  not  sufficient  for  the 
powerful  libidinous  excitement.  The  excitement  leads  to  an 
orgasm,  and  thus  the  whole  stairway  symbolism  is  unmasked 
as  a  substitute  for  coitus.  Freud  lays  stress  on  the  rhythmical 
character  of  both  actions  as  one  of  the  reasons  for  the  sexual 
utilisation  of  the  stairway  symbolism,  and  this  dream  especi- 
ally seems  to  corroborate  this,  for,  according  to  the  express 
assertion  of  the  dreamer,  the  rhythm  of  a  sexual  act  was  the 
most  pronounced  feature  in  the  whole  dream. 

Still  another  remark  concerning  the  two  pictures,  which, 
aside  from  their  real  significance,  also  have  the  value  of  "  Weibs- 
bilder "  (literally  woman-pictures,  but  idiomatically  women). 
This  is  at  once  shown  by  the  fact  that  the  dream  deals  with 
a  big  and  a  little  picture,  just  as  the  dream  content  presents 
a  big  (grown  up)  and  a  little  girl.  That  cheap  pictures  could 
also  be  obtained  points  to  the  prostitution  complex,  just  as 
the  dreamer's  surname  on  the  little  picture  and  the  thought 
that  it  was  intended  for  his  birthday,  point  to  the  parent 
complex  (to  be  born  on  the  stairway — to  be  conceived  in 

*  See  Zentralblatt  für  Psychoanalyse,  vol.  i.,  p.  2. 

THE   MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        257 

The  indistinct  final  scene,  in  which  the  dreamer  sees  him- 
self on  the  staircase  landing  lying  in  bed  and  feeling  wet, 
seems  to  go  back  into  childhood  even  beyond  the  infantile 
onanism,  and  manifestly  has  its  prototype  in  similarly  pleasur- 
able scenes  of  bed-wetting. 

6.  A  modified  stair-dream. 

To  one  of  my  very  nervous  patients,  who  was  an  abstainer, 
whose  fancy  was  fixed  on  his  mother,  and  who  repeatedly 
dreamed  of  climbing  stairs  accompanied  by  his  mother,  I  once 
remarked  that  moderate  masturbation  would  be  less  harmful 
to  him  than  enforced  abstinence.  This  influence  provoked 
the  following  dream  : 

"  His  piano  teacher  reproaches  him  for  neglecting  his  piano- 
playing,  and  for  not  practising  the  Etudes  of  Moscheles  and 
dementi's  Gradus  ad  Parnassum."  In  relation  to  this  he 
remarked  that  the  Gradus  is  only  a  stairway,  and  that  the 
piano  itself  is  only  a  stairway  as  it  has  a  scale. 

It  is  correct  to  say  that  there  is  no  series  of  associations 
which  cannot  be  adapted  to  the  representation  of  sexual  facts. 
I  conclude  with  the  dream  of  a  chemist,  a  young  man,  who 
has  been  trying  to  give  up  his  habit  of  masturbation  by 
replacing  it  with  intercourse  with  women. 

Preliminary  statement. — On  the  day  before  the  dream  he 
had  given  a  student  instruction  concerning  Grignard's  reaction, 
in  which  magnesium  is  to  be  dissolved  in  absolutely  pure 
ether  under  the  catalytic  influence  of  iodine.  Two  days  before, 
there  had  been  an  explosion  in  the  course  of  the  same  reaction, 
in  which  the  investigator  had  burned  his  hand. 

Dream  I.  He  is  to  make  phenylmagnesiumbromid ;  he  sees 
the  apparatus  with  particular  clearness,  but  he  has  substituted 
himself  for  the  magnesium.  He  is  now  in  a  curious  swaying 
attitude.  He  keeps  repeating  to  himself,  "  This  is  the  right  thing, 
it  is  working,  my  feet  are  beginning  to  dissolve  and  my  knees 
are  getting  soft.  Then  he  reaches  down  and  feels  for  his  feet, 
and  meanwhile  {he  does  not  know  how)  he  takes  his  legs  out  of 
the  crucible,  and  then  again  he  says  to  himself,  "  That  cannot 
be.  .  .  .  Yes,  it  must  be  so,  it  has  been  done  correctly."  Then 
he  partially  awakens,  and  repeats  the  dream  to  himself,  because 
he  wants   to  tell  it  to  me.     He  is  distinctly  afraid  of  the  analysis 


of  the  dream.  He  is  much  excited  during  this  semi-sleeping  state, 
and  repeats  continually,  "  Phenyl,  phenyl." 

II.  He  is  in  .  .  .  ing  with  his  whole  family ;  at  half-past 
eleven.  He  is  to  be  at  the  Schottenthor  for  a  rendezvous  with  a 
certain  lady,  but  he  does  not  wake  up  until  half-past  eleven.  He 
says  to  himself,  "  It  is  too  late  now  ;  when  you  get  there  it  will 
be  half -past  twelve."  The  next  instant  he  sees  the  whole  family 
gathered  about  the  table — his  mother  and  the  servant  girl  with 
the  soup-tureen  with  particular  clearness.  Then  he  says  to 
himself,  "  Well,  if  we  are  eating  already,  I  certainly  can't  get 

Analysis  :  He  feels  sure  that  even  the  first  dream  contains 
a  reference  to  the  lady  whom  he  is  to  meet  at  the  rendezvous 
(the  dream  was  dreamed  during  the  night  before  the  expected 
meeting).  The  student  to  whom  he  gave  the  instruction  is  a 
particularly  unpleasant  fellow  ;  he  had  said  to  the  chemist  : 
"  That  isn't  right,"  because  the  magnesium  was  still  unaffected, 
and  the  latter  answered  as  though  he  did  not  care  anything 
about  it  :  "It  certainly  isn't  right."  He  himself  must  be 
this  student ;  he  is  as  indifferent  towards  his  analysis  as 
the  student  is  towards  his  synthesis  ;  the  He  in  the  dream, 
however,  who  accomplishes  the  operation,  is  myself.  How 
unpleasant  he  must  seem  to  me  with  his  indifference  towards 
the  success  achieved  ! 

Moreover,  he  is  the  material  with  which  the  analysis  (syn- 
thesis) is  made.  For  it  is  a  question  of  the  success  of  the 
treatment.  The  legs  in  the  dream  recall  an  impression  of  the 
previous  evening.  He  met  a  lady  at  a  dancing  lesson  whom 
he  wished  to  conquer  ;  he  pressed  her  to  him  so  closely  that 
she  once  cried  out.  After  he  had  stopped  pressing  against 
her  legs,  he  felt  her  firm  responding  pressure  against  his  lower 
thighs  as  far  as  just  above  his  knees,  at  the  place  mentioned 
in  the  dream.  In  this  situation,  then,  the  woman  is  the 
magnesium  in  the  retort,  which  is  at  last  working.  He  is 
feminine  towards  me,  as  he  is  masculine  towards  the  woman. 
If  it  will  work  with  the  woman,  the  treatment  will  also  work. 
Feeling  and  becoming  aware  of  himself  in  the  region  of  his 
knees  refers  to  masturbation,  and  corresponds  to  his  fatigue 
of  the  previous  day.  .  .  .  The  rendezvous  had  actually  been 
set  for  half -past  eleven.     His  wish  to  over-sleep  and  to  remain 

THE    MATERIAL    OF   DREAMS        259 

with  his   usual  sexual  objects   (that  is,   with  masturbation) 
corresponds  with  his  resistance. 

In  relation  to  the  repetition  of  the  name  phenyl,  he  gives 
the  following  thoughts  :  All  these  radicals  ending  in  yl  have 
always  been  pleasing  to  him  ;  they  are  very  convenient  to 
use  :  benzyl,  azetyl,  &c.  That,  however,  explained  nothing. 
But  when  I  proposed  the  radical  Schlemihl  *  he  laughed 
heartily,  and  related  that  during  the  summer  he  had  read  a 
book  by  Prevost  which  contained  a  chapter  :  "  Les  exclus  de 
l'amour,"  the  description  in  which  made  him  think  of  the 
Schlemihls,  and  he  added,  "  That  is  my  case."  He  would 
have  again  acted  the  Schlemihl  if  he  had  missed  the  rendezvous. 

*  This  Hebrew  word  is  well  known  in  German-speaking  countries,  even 
among  non-Jews,  and  signifies  an  unlucky,  awkward  person.     (Translator.) 



All  previous  attempts  to  solve  the  problems  of  the  dream 
have  been  based  directly  upon  the  manifest  dream  content 
as  it  is  retained  in  the  memory,  and  have  undertaken  to  obtain 
an  interpretation  of  the  dream  from  this  content,  or,  if  inter- 
pretation was  dispensed  with,  to  base  a  judgment  of  the  dream 
upon  the  evidence  furnished  by  this  content.  We  alone  are  in 
possession  of  new  data  ;  for  us  a  new  psychic  material  inter- 
venes between  the  dream  content  and  the  results  of  our 
investigations  :  and  this  is  the  latent  dream  content  or  the 
dream  thoughts  which  are  obtained  by  our  method.  We 
develop  a  solution  of  the  dream  from  this  latter,  and  not 
from  the  manifest  dream  content.  We  are  also  confronted 
for  the  first  time  with  a  problem  which  has  not  before  existed, 
that  of  examining  and  tracing  the  relations  between  the  latent 
dream  thoughts  and  the  manifest  dream  content,  and  the 
processes  through  which  the  former  have  grown  into  the 

We  regard  the  dream  thoughts  and  the  dream  content  as 
two  representations  of  the  same  meaning  in  two  different 
languages  ;  or  to  express  it  better,  the  dream  content  appears 
to  us  as  a  translation  of  the  dream  thoughts  into  another  form 
of  expression,  whose  signs  and  laws  of  composition  we  are  to 
learn  by  comparing  the  original  with  the  translation.  The 
dream  thoughts  are  at  once  intelligible  to  us  as  soon  as  we 
have  ascertained  them.  The  dream  content  is,  as  it  were, 
presented  in  a  picture-writing,  whose  signs  are  to  be  trans- 
lated one  by  one  into  the  language  of  the  dream  thoughts. 
It  would  of  course  be  incorrect  to  try  to  read  these  signs 
according  to  their  values  as  pictures  instead  of  according  to 
their  significance  as  signs.  For  instance,  I  have  before  me  a 
picture-puzzle  (rebus)  :  a  house,  upon  whose  roof  there 
is  a    boat ;    then    a    running  figure  whose    head    has    been 



apostrophised  away,  and  the  like.  I  might  now  be  tempted 
as  a  critic  to  consider  this  composition  and  its  elements  non- 
sensical. A  boat  does  not  belong  on  the  roof  of  a  house  and 
a  person  without  a  head  cannot  run  ;  the  person,  too,  is  larger 
than  the  house,  and  if  the  whole  thing  is  to  represent  a  land- 
scape, the  single  letters  of  the  alphabet  do  not  fit  into  it,  for 
of  course  they  do  not  occur  in  pure  nature.  A  correct  judg- 
ment of  the  picture-puzzle  results  only  if  I  make  no  such 
objections  to  the  whole  and  its  parts,  but  if,  on  the  contrary, 
I  take  pains  to  replace  each  picture  by  the  syllable  or  word 
which  it  is  capable  of  representing  by  means  of  any  sort  of 
reference,  the  words  which  are  thus  brought  together  are  no 
longer  meaningless,  but  may  constitute  a  most  beautiful  and 
sensible  expression.  Now  the  dream  is  a  picture-puzzle  of 
this  sort,  and  our  predecessors  in  the  field  of  dream  inter- 
pretation have  made  the  mistake  of  judging  the  rebus  as  an 
artistic  composition.  As  such  it  appears  nonsensical  and 

(a)  The  Condensation  Work 

The  first  thing  which  becomes  clear  to  the  investigator  in 
the  comparison  of  the  dream  content  with  the  dream  thoughts 
is  that  a  tremendous  work  of  condensation  has  taken  place. 
The  dream  is  reserved,  paltry,  and  laconic  when  compared 
with  the  range  and  copiousness  of  the  dream  thoughts.  The 
dream  when  written  down  fills  half  a  page  ;  the  analysis,  in 
which  the  dream  thoughts  are  contained,  requires  six,  eight, 
twelve  times  as  much  space.  The  ratio  varies  with  different 
dreams  ;  it  never  changes  its  essential  meaning,  as  far  as  I 
have  been  able  to  observe.  As  a  rule  the  extent  of  the  com- 
pression which  has  taken  place  is  under-estimated,  owing  to 
the  fact  that  the  dream  thoughts  which  are  brought  to  light 
are  considered  the  complete  material,  while  continued  work 
of  interpretation  may  reveal  new  thoughts  which  are  con- 
cealed behind  the  dream.  We  have  already  mentioned  that 
one  is  really  never  sure  of  having  interpreted  a  dream  com- 
pletely ;  even  if  the  solution  seems  satisfying  and  flawless, 
it  still  always  remains  possible  that  there  is  a  further  meaning 
which  is  manifested  by  the  same  dream.  Thus  the  amount  of 
condensation  is — strictly  speaking — indeterminable.     An  objec- 


tion,  which  at  first  sight  seems  very  plausible,  might  be  raised 
against  the  assertion  that  the  disproportion  between  dream 
content  and  dream  thought  justifies  the  conclusion  that  an 
abundant  condensation  of  psychic  material  has  taken  place 
in  the  formation  of  dreams.  For  we  so  often  have  the  im- 
pression that  we  have  dreamed  a  great  deal  throughout  the 
night  and  then  have  forgotten  the  greater  part.  The  dream 
which  we  recollect  upon  awakening  would  thus  be  only  a 
remnant  of  the  total  dream-work,  which  would  probably 
equal  the  dream  thoughts  in  range  if  we  were  able  to  remember 
the  former  completely.  In  part  this  is  certainly  true  ;  there 
can  be  no  mistake  about  the  observation  that  the  dream  is 
most  accurately  reproduced  if  one  tries  to  remember  it  im- 
mediately after  awakening,  and  that  the  recollection  of  it 
becomes  more  and  more  defective  towards  evening.  On  the 
other  hand,  it  must  be  admitted  that  the  impression  that  we 
have  dreamed  a  good  deal  more  than  we  are  able  to  reproduce 
is  often  based  upon  an  illusion,  the  cause  of  which  will  be 
explained  later.  Moreover,  the  assumption  of  condensation 
in  the  dream  activity  is  not  affected  by  the  possibility  of 
forgetting  in  dreams,  for  it  is  proved  by  groups  of  ideas  belong- 
ing to  those  particular  parts  of  the  dream  which  have  remained 
in  the  memory.  If  a  large  part  of  the  dream  has  actually 
been  lost  to  memory,  we  are  probably  deprived  of  access  to  a 
new  series  of  dream  thoughts.  It  is  altogether  unjustifiable 
to  expect  that  those  portions  of  the  dream  which  have  been 
lost  also  relate  to  the  thoughts  with  which  we  are  already 
acquainted  from  the  analysis  of  the  portions  which  have  been 

In  view  of  the  great  number  of  ideas  which  analysis  fur- 
nishes for  each  individual  element  of  the  dream  content,  the 
chief  doubt  with  many  readers  will  be  whether  it  is  permissible 
to  count  everything  that  subsequently  comes  to  mind  during 
analysis  as  a  part  of  the  dream  thoughts — to  assume,  in  other 
words,  that  all  these  thoughts  have  been  active  in  the  sleeping 
state  and  have  taken  part  in  the  formation  of  the  dream. 
Is  it  not  more  probable  that  thought  connections  are  developed 
in  the  course  of  analysis  which  did  not  participate  in  the 
formation  of  the  dream  ?  I  can  meet  this  doubt  only  con- 
ditionally.     It  is   true,   of  course,   that  particular  thought 


connections  first  arise  only  during  analysis  ;  but  one  may 
always  be  sure  that  such  new  connections  have  been  estab- 
lished only  between  thoughts  which  have  already  been  con- 
nected in  the  dream  thoughts  by  other  means  ;  the  new 
connections  are,  so  to  speak,  corollaries,  short  circuits,  which 
are  made  possible  by  the  existence  of  other  more  fundamental 
means  of  connection.  It  must  be  admitted  that  the  huge 
number  of  trains  of  thought  revealed  by  analysis  have  already 
been  active  in  the  formation  of  the  dream,  for  if  a  chain  of 
thoughts  has  been  worked  out,  which  seems  to  be  without 
connection  with  the  formation  of  the  dream,  a  thought  is 
suddenly  encountered  which,  being  represented  in  the  dream, 
is  indispensable  to  its  interpretation — which  nevertheless  is 
inaccessible  except  through  that  chain  of  thoughts.  The  reader 
may  here  turn  to  the  dream  of  the  botanical  monograph, 
which  is  obviously  the  result  of  an  astonishing  condensation 
activity,  even  though  I  have  not  given  the  analysis  of  it 

But  how,  then,  is  the  psychic  condition  during  sleep  which 
precedes  dreaming  to  be  imagined  ?  Do  all  the  dream  thoughts 
exist  side  by  side,  or  do  they  occur  one  after  another,  or 
are  many  simultaneous  trains  of  thought  constructed  from 
different  centres,  which  meet  later  on  ?  I  am  of  the  opinion 
that  it  is  not  yet  necessary  to  form  a  plastic  conception  of 
the  psychic  condition  of  dream  formation.  Only  let  us  not 
forget  that  we  are  concerned  with  unconscious  thought,  and 
that  the  process  may  easily  be  a  different  one  from  that  which 
we  perceive  in  ourselves  in  intentional  contemplation  accom- 
panied by  consciousness. 

The  fact,  however,  that  dream  formation  is  based  on  a 
process  of  condensation,  stands  indubitable.  How,  then,  is 
this  condensation  brought  about  ? 

If  it  be  considered  that  of  those  dream  thoughts  which  are 
found  only  the  smallest  number  are  represented  in  the  dream 
by  means  of  one  of  its  ideal  elements,  it  might  be  concluded 
that  condensation  is  accomplished  by  means  of  ellipsis,  in 
that  the  dream  is  not  an  accurate  translation  or  a  projection 
point  by  point  of  the  dream  thoughts,  but  a  very  incomplete 
and  defective  reproduction  of  them.  This  view,  as  we  shall 
soon  find,  is  a  very  inadequate  one.     But  let  us  take  it  as  a 


starting  point  for  the  present,  and  ask  ourselves  :  If  only  a 
few  of  the  elements  of  the  dream  thoughts  get  into  the  dream 
content,  what  conditions  determine  their  choice  ? 

In  order  to  gain  enlightenment  on  this  subject  let  us  turn 
our  attention  to  those  elements  of  the  dream  content  which 
must  have  fulfilled  the  conditions  we  are  seeking.  A  dream 
to  the  formation  of  which  an  especially  strong  condensation 
has  contributed  will  be  the  most  suitable  material  for  this 
investigation.  I  select  the  dream,  cited  on  page  142,  of  the 
botanical  monograph. 

Dream  content  :  /  have  written  a  monograph  upon  a 
(obscure)  certain  plant.  The  book  lies  before  me,  I  am  just 
turning  over  a  folded  coloured  plate.  A  dried  specimen  of  the 
plant  is  bound  with  every  copy  as  though  from  a  herbarium. 

The  most  prominent  element  of  this  dream  is  the  botanical 
monograph.  This  comes  from  the  impressions  received  on 
the  day  of  the  dream  ;  I  had  actually  seen  a  monograph  on 
the  genus  "  cyclamen  "  in  the  show-window  of  a  book-store. 
The  mention  of  this  genus  is  lacking  in  the  dream  content, 
in  which  only  the  monograph  and  its  relation  to  botany  have 
remained.  The  "  botanical  monograph  "  immediately  shows 
its  relation  to  the  work  on  cocaine  which  I  had  once  written  ; 
thought  connections  proceed  from  cocaine  on  the  one  hand 
to  a  "  Festschrift,"  and  on  the  other  to  my  friend,  the  eye 
specialist,  Dr.  Koenigstein,  who  has  had  a  share  in  the  utili- 
sation of  cocaine.  Moreover,  with  the  person  of  this  Dr. 
Koenigstein  is  connected  the  recollection  of  the  interrupted 
conversation  which  I  had  had  with  him  on  the  previous 
evening  and  of  the  manifold  thoughts  about  remuneration 
for  medical  services  among  colleagues.  This  conversation, 
then,  is  properly  the  actual  stimulus  of  the  dream  ;  the  mono- 
graph about  cyclamen  is  likewise  an  actuality  but  of  an  indif- 
ferent nature  ;  as  I  soon  see,  the  "  botanical  monograph  "  of 
the  dream  turns  out  to  be  a  common  mean  between  the  two 
experiences  of  the  day,  and  to  have  been  taken  over  unchanged 
from  an  indifferent  impression  and  bound  up  with  the  psycho- 
logically significant  experience  by  means  of  the  most  abundant 

Not  only  the  combined  idea,  "  botanical  monograph," 
however,  but  also  each  of  the  separate  elements,  "  botanical  " 


and  "  monograph,"  penetrates  deeper  and  deeper  into  the 
confused  tangle  of  the  dream  thoughts.  To  "  botanical " 
belong  the  recollections  of  the  person  of  Professor  Gartner 
(German  :  Gärtner  =  gardener),  of  his  blooming  wife,  of  my 
patient  whose  name  is  Flora,  and  of  a  lady  about  whom  I  told 
the  story  of  the  forgotten  flowers.  Gartner,  again,  is  connected 
with  the  laboratory  and  the  conversation  with  Koenig stein ; 
the  mention  of  the  two  female  patients  also  belongs  to  the 
same  conversation.  A  chain  of  thoughts,  one  end  of  which 
is  formed  by  the  title  of  the  hastily  seen  monograph,  leads 
off  in  the  other  direction  from  the  lady  with  the  flowers  to  the 
favourite  flowers  of  my  wife.  Besides  this,  "  botanical " 
recalls  not  only  an  episode  at  the  Gymnasium,  but  an  examina- 
tion taken  while  I  was  at  the  university  ;  and  a  new  subject 
matter — my  hobbies — which  was  broached  in  the  conversa- 
tion already  mentioned,  is  connected  by  means  of  my 
humorously  so-called  favourite  flower,  the  artichoke,  with  the 
chain  of  thoughts  proceeding  from  the  forgotten  flowers  ; 
behind  "  artichoke  "  there  is  concealed  on  the  one  hand  a 
recollection  of  Italy,  and  on  the  other  a  reminiscence  of  a 
childhood  scene  in  which  I  first  formed  my  connection  with 
books  which  has  since  grown  so  intimate.  "  Botanical," 
then,  is  a  veritable  nucleus,  the  centre  for  the  dream  of  many 
trains  of  thought,  which,  I  may  assure  the  reader,  were 
correctly  and  justly  brought  into  relation  to  one  another  in 
the  conversation  referred  to.  Here  we  find  ourselves  in  a 
thought  factory,  in  which,  as  in  the  "  Weaver's  Masterpiece  "  : 

"  One  tread  moves  thousands  of  threads, 
The  little  shuttles  fly  back  and  forth, 
The  threads  flow  on  unseen, 
One  stroke  ties  thousands  of  knots." 

"  Monograph  "  in  the  dream,  again,  has  a  bearing  upon 
two  subjects,  the  one-sidedness  of  my  studies  and  the  costli- 
ness of  my  hobbies. 

The  impression  is  gained  from  this  first  investigation  that 
the  elements  "  botanical "  and  "  monograph "  have  been 
accepted  in  the  dream  content  because  they  were  able  to  show 
the  most  extensive  connections  with  the  dream  thoughts, 
and  thus  represent  nuclei  in  which  a  great  number  of  dream 
thoughts   come   together,   and  because   they  have   manifold 


significance  for  the  dream  interpretation.  The  fact  upon 
which  this  explanation  is  based  may  be  expressed  in  another 
form  :  Every  element  of  the  dream  content  turns  out  to  be 
over-determined — that  is,  it  enjoys  a  manifold  representation 
in  the  dream  thoughts. 

We  shall  learn  more  by  testing  the  remaining  component 
parts  of  the  dream  as  to  their  occurrence  in  the  dream  thoughts. 
The  coloured  plate  refers  (cf.  the  analysis  on  p.  145)  to  a  new 
subject,  the  criticism  passed  upon  my  work  by  colleagues, 
and  to  a  subject  already  represented  in  the  dream — my 
hobbies — and  also  to  a  childish  recollection  in  which  I  pull  to 
pieces  the  book  with  the  coloured  plates  ;  the  dried  specimen 
of  the  plant  relates  to  an  experience  at  the  Gymnasium 
centering  about  and  particularly  emphasizing  the  herbarium. 
Thus  I  see  what  sort  of  relation  exists  between  the  dream 
content  and  dream  thoughts  :  Not  only  do  the  elements  of 
the  dream  have  a  manifold  determination  in  the  dream 
thoughts,  but  the  individual  dream  thoughts  are  represented 
in  the  dream  by  many  elements.  Starting  from  an  element  of 
the  dream  the  path  of  associations  leads  to  a  number  of  dream 
thoughts  ;  and  from  a  dream  thought  to  several  elements  of 
the  dream.  The  formation  of  the  dream  does  not,  therefore, 
take  place  in  such  fashion  that  a  single  one  of  the  dream 
thoughts  or  a  group  of  them  furnishes  the  dream  content 
with  an  abridgment  as  its  representative  therein,  and  that 
then  another  dream  thought  furnishes  another  abridgment 
as  its  representative — somewhat  as  popular  representatives 
are  elected  from  among  the  people — but  the  whole  mass  of  the 
dream  thoughts  is  subjected  to  a  certain  elaboration,  in  the 
course  of  which  those  elements  that  receive  the  greatest  and 
completest  support  stand  out  in  relief,  analogous,  perhaps,  to 
election  by  scrutins  des  listes.  Whatever  dream  I  may  subject 
to  such  dismemberment,  I  always  find  the  same  fundamental 
principle  confirmed — that  the  dream  elements  are  constructed 
from  the  entire  mass  of  the  dream  thoughts  and  that  every  one 
of  them  appears  in  relation  to  the  dream  thoughts  to  have  a 
multiple  determination. 

It  is  certainly  not  out  of  place  to  demonstrate  this  relation 
of  the  dream  content  to  the  dream  thoughts  by  means  of  a 
fresh  example,  which  is  distinguished  by  a  particularly  artful 


intertwining  of  reciprocal  relations.  The  dream  is  that  of  a 
patient  whom  I  am  treating  for  claustrophobia  (fear  in  enclosed 
spaces).  It  will  soon  become  evident  why  I  feel  myself  called 
upon  to  entitle  this  exceptionally  intellectual  piece  of  dream 
activity  in  the  following  manner  : 

II.  "  A  Beautiful  Dream  " 

The  dreamer  is  riding  with  much  company  to  X-street,  where 
there  is  a  modest  road-house  (which  is  not  the  fact).  A 
theatrical  performance  is  being  given  in  its  rooms.  He  is  first 
audience,  then  actor.  Finally  the  company  is  told  to  change 
their  clothes,  in  order  to  get  back  into  the  city.  Some  of  the 
people  are  assigned  to  the  rooms  on  the  ground  floor,  others  to 
the  first  floor.  Then  a  dispute  arises.  Those  above  are  angry 
because  those  below  have  not  yet  finished,  so  that  they  cannot 
come  down.  His  brother  is  upstairs,  he  is  below,  and  he  is  angry 
at  his  brother  because  there  is  such  crowding.  (This  part 
obscure.)  Besides  it  has  already  been  decided  upon  their  arrival 
who  is  to  be  upstairs  and  who  down.  Then  he  goes  alone  over 
the  rising  ground,  across  which  X-street  leads  toward  the  city, 
and  he  has  such  difficulty  and  hardship  in  walking  that  he  cannot 
move  from  the  spot.  An  elderly  gentleman  joins  him  and  scolds 
about  the  King  of  Italy.  Finally,  towards  the  end  of  the  rising 
ground  walking  becomes  much  easier. 

The  difficulties  experienced  in  walking  were  so  distinct 
that  for  some  time  after  waking  he  was  in  doubt  whether 
they  were  dream  or  reality. 

According  to  the  manifest  content,  this  dream  can  hardly 
be  praised.  Contrary  to  the  rules,  I  shall  begin  with  that 
portion  which  the  dreamer  referred  to  as  the  most  distinct. 

The  difficulties  which  were  dreamed  of,  and  which  were 
probably  experienced  during  the  dream — difficult  climbing 
accompanied  by  dyspnoea — is  one  of  the  symptoms  which 
the  patient  had  actually  shown  years  before,  and  which,  in 
conjunction  with  other  symptoms,  was  at  that  time  attributed 
to  tuberculosis  (probably  hysterically  simulated).  We  are 
already  from  exhibition  dreams  acquainted  with  this  sensation 
of  being  hindered,  peculiar  to  the  dream,  and  here  again  we 
find  it  used  for  the  purpose  of  any  kind  of  representation,  as 
an   ever-ready   material.     That   part   of   the   dream  content 


which  ascribes  the  climbing  as  difficult  at  first,  and  as  becoming 
easier  at  the  end  of  the  hill,  made  me  think  while  it  was  being 
told  of  the  well-known  masterful  introduction  to  Sappho 
by  A.  Daudet.  Here  a  young  man  carries  the  girl  whom 
he  loves  upstairs — she  is  at  first  as  light  as  a  feather  ;  but  the 
higher  he  mounts  the  more  heavily  she  weighs  upon  his  arm, 
and  this  scene  symbolises  a  course  of  events  by  recounting 
which  Daudet  tries  to  warn  young  men  not  to  waste  serious 
affection  upon  girls  of  humble  origin  or  of  questionable  past.* 
Although  I  knew  that  my  patient  had  recently  had  a  love 
affair  with  a  lady  of  the  theatre,  and  had  broken  it  off,  I  did 
not  expect  to  find  that  the  interpretation  which  had  occurred 
to  me  was  correct.  Moreover,  the  situation  in  Sappho  was  the 
reverse  of  that  in  the  dream  ;  in  the  latter  the  climbing  was 
difficult  at  the  beginning  and  easy  later  on  ;  in  the  novel  the 
symbolism  serves  only  if  what  was  at  first  regarded  as  easy 
finally  turns  out  to  be  a  heavy  load.  To  my  astonishment, 
the  patient  remarked  that  the  interpretation  corresponded 
closely  to  the  plot  of  a  play  which  he  had  seen  on  the  evening 
before  at  the  theatre.  The  play  was  called  Round  about 
Vienna,  and  treated  of  the  career  of  a  girl  who  is  respectable 
at  first  but  later  goes  over  to  the  demi-monde,  who  has  affairs 
with  persons  in  high  places,  thus  "  climbing,"  but  finally 
"  goes  down  "  faster  and  faster.  This  play  had  reminded  him 
of  another  entitled  From  Step  to  Step,  in  the  advertisement 
of  which  had  appeared  a  stairway  consisting  of  several 

Now  to  continue  the  interpretation.  The  actress  with 
whom  he  had  had  his  most  recent  affair,  a  complicated  one, 
had  lived  in  X-street.  There  is  no  inn  in  this  street.  How- 
ever, while  he  was  spending  a  part  of  the  summer  in  Vienna 
for  the  sake  of  the  lady,  he  had  lodged  (German  abgestiegen= 
stopped,  literally  stepped  off)  at  a  little  hotel  in  the  neighbour- 
hood. As  he  was  leaving  the  hotel  he  said  to  the  cab-driver, 
"  I  am  glad  I  didn't  get  any  vermin  anyway  (which  incidentally 
is  one  of  his  phobias).  Whereupon  the  cab-driver  answered  : 
"  How  could  anybody  stop  there  !  It  isn't  a  hotel  at  all, 
it's  really  nothing  but  a  road-house  !  " 

*  In  estimating  this  description  of  the  author  one  may  recall  the  signi- 
ficance of  stairway  dreams,  referred  to  on  p.  246. 


The  road-house  immediately  suggests  to  the  dreamer's 
recollection  a  quotation  : 

"  Of  that  marvellous  host 
I  was  once  a  guest." 

But  the  host  in  the  poem  by  Uhland  is  an  apple  tree.  Now 
a  second  quotation  continues  the  train  of  thought : 

Faust  {dancing  with  the  young  witch). 

" A  lovely  dream  once  came  to  me ; 
I  then  beheld  an  apple  tree, 
And  there  two  fairest  apples  shone : 
They  lured  me  so,  I  climbed  thereon." 

The  Fair  One. 

"  Apples  have  been  desired  by  you, 
Since  first  in  Paradise  they  grew ; 
And  I  am  moved  with  joy  to  know 
That  such  within  my  garden  grow." 

Translated  by  Bayard  Taylor. 

There  remains  not  the  slightest  doubt  what  is  meant  by 
the  apple  tree  and  the  apples.  A  beautiful  bosom  stood  high 
among  the  charms  with  which  the  actress  had  bewitched  our 

According  to  the  connections  of  the  analysis  we  had  every 
reason  to  assume  that  the  dream  went  back  to  an  impression 
from  childhood.  In  this  case  it  must  have  reference  to  the 
nurse  of  the  patient,  who  is  now  a  man  of  nearly  fifty  years 
of  age.  The  bosom  of  the  nurse  is  in  reality  a  road-house  for 
the  child.  The  nurse  as  well  as  Daudet's  Sappho  appears  as 
an  allusion  to  his  abandoned  sweetheart. 

The  (elder)  brother  of  the  patient  also  appears  in  the 
dream  content  ;  he  is  upstairs,  the  dreamer  himself  is  below. 
This  again  is  an  inversion,  for  the  brother,  as  I  happen  to  know, 
has  lost  his  social  position,  my  patient  has  retained  his.  In 
reporting  the  dream  content  the  dreamer  avoided  saying 
that  his  brother  was  upstairs  and  that  he  himself  was  down. 
It  would  have  been  too  frank  an  expression,  for  a  person  is 
said  to  be  "  down  and  out  "  when  he  has  lost  his  fortune  and 
position.  Now  the  fact  that  at  this  point  in  the  dream  some- 
thing is  represented  as  inverted  must  have  a  meaning.  The 
inversion  must  apply  rather  to  some  other  relation  between 


the  dream  thoughts  and  dream  content.  There  is  an  in- 
dication which  suggests  how  this  inversion  is  to  be  taken. 
It  obviously  applies  to  the  end  of  the  dream,  where  the  circum- 
stances of  climbing  are  the  reverse  of  those  in  Sappho.  Now  it 
may  easily  be  seen  what  inversion  is  referred  to  ;  in  Sappho 
the  man  carries  the  woman  who  stands  in  a  sexual  relation 
to  him  ;  in  the  dream  thoughts,  inversely,  a  woman  carries 
a  man,  and  as  this  state  of  affairs  can  only  occur  during 
childhood,  the  reference  is  again  to  the  nurse  who  carries 
the  heavy  child.  Thus  the  final  portion  of  the  dream 
succeeds  in  representing  Sappho  and  the  nurse  in  the  same 

Just  as  the  name  Sappho  has  not  been  selected  by  the 
poet  without  reference  to  a  Lesbian  custom,  so  the  elements 
of  the  dream  in  which  persons  act  above  and  below,  point  to 
fancies  of  a  sexual  nature  with  which  the  dreamer  is  occupied 
and  which  as  suppressed  cravings  are  not  without  connection 
with  his  neurosis.  Dream  interpretation  itself  does  not  show 
that  these  are  fancies  and  not  recollections  of  actual  happen- 
ings ;  it  only  furnishes  us  with  a  set  of  thoughts  and  leaves 
us  to  determine  their  value  as  realities.  Real  and  fantastic 
occurrences  at  first  appear  here  as  of  equal  value — and  not 
only  here  but  also  in  the  creation  of  more  important  psychic 
structures  than  dreams.  Much  company,  as  we  already 
know,  signifies  a  secret.  The  brother  is  none  other  than  a 
representative,  drawn  into  the  childhood  scene  by  "  fancying 
backwards,"  of  all  of  the  later  rivals  for  the  woman.  Through 
the  agency  of  an  experience  which  is  indifferent  in  itself,  the 
episode  with  the  gentleman  who  scolds  about  the  King  of 
Italy  again  refers  to  the  intrusion  of  people  of  low  rank  into 
aristocratic  society.  It  is  as  though  the  warning  which 
Daudet  gives  to  youth  is  to  be  supplemented  by  a  similar 
warning  applicable  to  the  suckling  child.* 

In  order  that  we  may  have  at  our  disposal  a  third  example 
for  the  study  of  condensation  in  dream  formation,  I  shall  cite 

*  The  fantastic  nature  of  the  situation  relating  to  the  nurse  of  the 
dreamer  is  shown  by  the  objectively  ascertained  circumstance  that  the  nurse 
in  this  case  was  liis  mother.  Furthermore,  I  may  call  attention  to  the 
regret  of  the  young  man  in  the  anecdote  (p.  172),  that  he  had  not  taken 
better  advantage  of  his  opportunity  with  the  nurse  as  probably  the  source 
of  the  present  dream. 


the  partial  analysis  of  another  dream  for  which  I  am  in- 
debted to  an  elderly  lady  who  is  being  psychoanalytically 
treated.  In  harmony  with  the  condition  of  severe  anxiety 
from  which  the  patient  suffered,  her  dreams  contained  a  great 
abundance  of  sexual  thought  material,  the  discovery  of  which 
astonished  as  well  as  frightened  her.  Since  I  cannot  carry 
the  interpretation  of  the  dream  to  completion,  the  material 
seems  to  fall  apart  into  several  groups  without  apparent 

III.  Content  of  the  dream  :  She  remembers  that  she  has 
two  June  bugs  in  a  box,  which  she  must  set  at  liberty,  for  otherwise 
they  will  suffocate.  She  opens  the  box,  and  the  bugs  are  quite 
exhausted ;  one  of  them  flies  out  of  the  window,  but  the  other  is 
crushed  on  the  casement  while  she  is  shutting  the  window,  as  some 
one  or  other  requests  her  to  do  (expressions  of  disgust). 

Analysis  :  Her  husband  is  away  travelling,  and  her 
fourteen-year-old  daughter  is  sleeping  in  the  bed  next  to  her. 
In  the  evening  the  little  one  calls  her  attention  to  the  fact 
that  a  moth  has  fallen  into  her  glass  of  water  ;  but  she  neglects 
to  take  it  out,  and  feels  sorry  for  the  poor  little  creature  in 
the  morning.  A  story  which  she  had  read  in  the  evening  told 
of  boys  throwing  a  cat  into  boiling  water,  and  the  twitchings 
of  the  animal  were  described.  These  are  the  occasions  for 
the  dream,  both  of  which  are  indifferent  in  themselves.  She 
is  further  occupied  with  the  subject  of  cruelty  to  animals. 
Years  before,  while  they  were  spending  the  summer  at  a 
certain  place,  her  daughter  was  very  cruel  to  animals.  She 
started  a  butterfly  collection,  and  asked  her  for  arsenic  with 
which  to  kill  the  butterflies.  Once  it  happened  that  a  moth 
flew  about  the  room  for  a  long  time  with  a  needle  through  its 
body  ;  on  another  occasion  she  found  that  some  moths  which 
had  been  kept  for  metamorphosis  had  died  of  starvation. 
The  same  child  while  still  at  a  tender  age  was  in  the  habit 
of  pulling  out  the  wings  of  beetles  and  butterflies  ;  now  she 
would  shrink  in  horror  from  these  cruel  actions,  for  she  has 
grown  very  kind. 

Her  mind  is  occupied  with  this  contrast.  It  recalls  another 
contrast,  the  one  between  appearance  and  disposition,  as  it  is 
described  in  Adam  Bede  by  George  Eliot.  There  a  beautiful 
but  vain  and  quite  stupid  girl  is  placed  side  by  side  with  an 


ugly  but  high-minded  one.  The  aristocrat  who  seduces  the 
little  goose,  is  opposed  to  the  working  man  who  feels  aristo- 
cratic, and  behaves  accordingly.  It  is  impossible  to  tell 
character  from  people's  looks.  Who  could  tell  from  her  looks 
that  she  is  tormented  by  sensual  desires  ? 

In  the  same  year  in  which  the  little  girl  started  her  butterfly 
collection,  the  region  in  which  they  were  staying  suffered 
much  from  a  pest  of  June  bugs.  The  children  made  havoc 
among  the  bugs,  and  crushed  them  cruelly.  At  that  time  she 
saw  a  person  who  tore  the  wings  off  the  June  bugs  and  ate 
them.  She  herself  had  been  born  in  June  and  also  married 
in  June.  Three  days  after  the  wedding  she  wrote  a  letter 
home,  telling  how  happy  she  was.  But  she  was  by  no  means 

During  the  evening  before  the  dream  she  had  rummaged 
among  her  old  letters  and  had  read  various  ones,  comical  and 
serious,  to  her  family — an  extremely  ridiculous  letter  from  a 
piano-teacher  who  had  paid  her  attention  when  she  was  a 
girl,  as  well  as  one  from  an  aristocratic  admirer.* 

She  blames  herself  because  a  bad  book  by  de  Maupassant 
had  fallen  into  the  hands  of  one  of  her  daughters,  f  The  arsenic 
which  her  little  girl  asks  for  recalls  the  arsenic  pills  which 
restored  the  power  of  youth  to  the  Due  de  Mora  in  Nabob. 

"  Set  at  liberty  "  recalls  to  her  a  passage  from  the  Magic 

Flute  : 

"  I  cannot  compel  you  to  love, 
But  I  will  not  give  you  your  liberty." 

"  June  bugs  "  suggests  the  speech  of  Katie  :  J 

"  I  love  you  like  a  little  beetle." 

Meanwhile  the  speech  from  Tannhauser :  "  For  you  are 
wrought  with  evil  passion." 

She  is  living  in  fear  and  anxiety  about  her  absent  husband. 
The  dread  that  something  may  happen  to  him  on  the  journey 
is  expressed  in  numerous  fancies  of  the  day.  A  little  while 
before,  during  the  analysis,  she  had  come  upon  a  complaint 

*  This  is  the  real  inciter  of  the  dream. 

t  By  way  of  supplement.  Such  books  are  poison  to  a  young  girl.  She 
herself  in  youth  had  drawn  much  information  from  forbidden  books. 

%  A  further  train  of  thought  leads  to  Penthesileia  by  the  same  author : 
cruelty  towards  her  lover. 


about  his  "  senility  "  in  her  unconscious  thoughts.  The  wish 
thought  which  this  dream  conceals  may  perhaps  best  be 
conjectured  if  I  say  that  several  days  before  the  dream  she 
was  suddenly  astounded  by  a  command  which  she  directed 
to  her  husband  in  the  midst  of  her  work  :  "Go  hang  yourself." 
It  was  found  that  a  few  hours  before  she  had  read  somewhere 
that  a  vigorous  erection  is  induced  when  a  person  is  hanged. 
It  was  for  the  erection  which  freed  itself  from  repression  in 
this  terror-inspiring  veiled  form.  "  Go  hang  yourself  "  is  as 
much  as  to  say  :  "  Get  up  an  erection,  at  any  cost."  Dr. 
Jenkin's  arsenic  pills  in  Nabob  belong  in  this  connection  ;  for 
it  was  known  to  the  patient  that  the  strongest  aphrodisiac, 
cantharides,  is  prepared  by  crushing  bugs  (so-called  Spanish 
flies).  The  most  important  part  of  the  dream  content  has  a 
significance  to  this  effect. 

Opening  and  shutting  the  window  is  the  subject  of  a  stand- 
ing quarrel  with  her  husband.  She  herself  likes  to  sleep  with 
plenty  of  air,  and  her  husband  does  not.  Exhaustion  is  the 
chief  ailment  of  which  she  complains  these  days. 

In  all  three  of  the  dreams  just  cited  I  have  emphasized  by 
italics  those  phrases  where  one  of  the  elements  of  the  dream 
recurs  in  the  dream  thoughts  in  order  to  make  the  manifold 
references  of  the  former  obvious.  Since,  however,  the 
analysis  of  none  of  these  dreams  has  been  carried  to  com- 
pletion, it  will  be  well  worth  while  to  consider  a  dream  with  a 
fully  detailed  analysis,  in  order  to  demonstrate  the  manifold 
determination  of  its  content.  I  select  the  dream  of  Irma's 
injection  for  this  purpose.  We  shall  see  without  effort  in 
this  example  that  the  condensation  work  has  used  more  than 
one  means  for  the  formation  of  the  dream. 

The  chief  person  in  the  content  of  the  dream  is  my  patient 
Irma,  who  is  seen  with  the  features  which  belong  to  her  in 
waking  life,  and  who  therefore  in  the  first  instance  represents 
herself.  But  her  attitude  as  I  examine  her  at  the  window  is 
taken  from  the  recollection  of  another  person,  of  the  lady  for 
whom  I  should  like  to  exchange  my  patient,  as  the  dream 
thoughts  show.  In  as  far  as  Irma  shows  a  diphtheritic  mem- 
brane which  recalls  my  anxiety  about  my  eldest  daughter, 
she  comes  to  represent  this  child  of  mine,  behind  whom  is 
concealed  the  person  of  the  patient  who  died  from  intoxication 



and  who  is  brought  into  connection  by  the  identity  of  her 
name.  In  the  further  course  of  the  dream  the  significance  of 
Irma's  personality  changes  (without  the  alteration  of  her 
image  as  it  is  seen  in  the  dream)  ;  she  becomes  one  of  the 
children  whom  we  examine  in  the  public  dispensaries  for 
children's  diseases,  where  my  friends  show  the  difference  of 
their  mental  capabilities.  The  transference  was  obviously 
brought  about  through  the  idea  of  my  infant  daughter.  By 
means  of  her  unwillingness  to  open  her  mouth  the  same  Irma 
is  changed  into  an  allusion  to  another  lady  who  was  once 
examined  by  me,  and  besides  that  to  my  wife,  in  the  same 
connection.  Furthermore,  in  the  morbid  transformations 
which  I  discover  in  her  throat  I  have  gathered  allusions  to  a 
great  number  of  other  persons. 

All  these  people  whom  I  encounter  as  I  follow  the  associa- 
tions suggested  by  "  Irma,"  do  not  appear  personally  in  the 
dream  ;  they  are  concealed  behind  the  dream  person  "  Irma," 
who  is  thus  developed  into  a  collective  image,  as  might  be 
expected,  with  contradictory  features.  Irma  comes  to  re- 
present these  other  persons,  who  are  discarded  in  the  work 
of  condensation,  in  that  I  cause  to  happen  to  her  all  the  things 
which  recall  these  persons  detail  for  detail. 

I  may  also  construct  a  collective  person  for  the  con- 
densation of  the  dream  in  another  manner,  by  uniting  the 
actual  features  of  two  or  more  persons  in  one  dream  image. 
It  is  in  this  manner  that  Dr.  M.  in  my  dream  was  constructed, 
he  bears  the  name  of  Dr.  M.,  and  speaks  and  acts  as  Dr.  M. 
does,  but  his  bodily  characteristics  and  his  suffering  belong  to 
another  person,  my  eldest  brother  ;  a  single  feature,  paleness, 
is  doubly  determined,  owing  to  the  fact  that  it  is  common  to 
both  persons.  Dr.  R.  in  my  dream  about  my  uncle  is  a  similar 
composite  person.  But  here  the  dream  image  is  prepared  in 
still  another  manner.  I  have  not  united  features  peculiar 
to  the  one  with  features  of  the  other,  and  thereby  abridged 
the  remembered  image  of  each  by  certain  features,  but  I  have 
adopted  the  method  employed  by  Galton  in  producing  family 
portraits,  by  which  he  projects  both  pictures  upon  one  another, 
whereupon  the  common  features  stand  out  in  stronger  relief, 
while  those  which  do  not  coincide  neutralize  one  another  and 
become  obscure  in  the  picture.     In  the  dream  of  my  uncle  the 


blond  beard  stands  out  in  relief,  as  an  emphasized  feature,  from 
the  physiognomy,  which  belongs  to  two  persons,  and  which  is 
therefore  blurred ;  furthermore  the  beard  contains  an  allusion 
to  my  father  and  to  myself,  which  is  made  possible  by  its 
reference  to  the  fact  of  growing  grey. 

The  construction  of  collective  and  composite  persons  is 
one  of  the  chief  resources  of  the  activity  of  dream  condensa- 
tion. There  will  soon  be  an  occasion  for  treating  of  this  in 
another  connection. 

The  notion  "  dysentery  "  in  the  dream  about  the  injection 
likewise  has  a  manifold  determination,  on  the  one  hand 
because  of  its  paraphasic  assonance  with  diphtheria,  and  on 
the  other  because  of  its  reference  to  the  patient,  whom  I  have 
sent  to  the  Orient,  and  whose  hysteria  has  been  wrongly 

The  mention  of  "  propyls  "  in  the  dream  also  proves  to  be 
an  interesting  case  of  condensation.  Not  "  propyls "  but 
"  amyls  "  were  contained  in  the  dream  thoughts.  One  might 
think  that  here  a  simple  displacement  had  occurred  in  the 
dream  formation.  And  this  is  the  case,  but  the  displacement 
serves  the  purposes  of  condensation,  as  is  shown  by  the 
following  supplementary  analysis.  If  I  dwell  for  a  moment 
upon  the  word  "  propyls,"  its  assonance  to  the  word  "  pro- 
pylseum  "  suggests  itself  to  me.  But  the  propylseum  is  to  be 
found  not  only  in  Athens  but  also  in  Munich.  In  the  latter 
city  I  visited  a  friend  the  year  before  who  was  seriously  ill, 
and  the  reference  to  him  becomes  unmistakable  on  account  of 
trimethylamin,  which  follows  closely  upon  propyls. 

I  pass  over  the  striking  circumstance  that  here,  as  else- 
where in  the  analysis  of  dreams,  associations  of  the  most  widely 
different  values  are  employed  for  the  establishment  of  thought 
connections  as  though  they  were  equivalent,  and  I  yield  to  the 
temptation  to  regard  the  process  by  which  amyls  in  the  dream 
thoughts  are  replaced  by  propyls,  as  though  it  were  plastic 
in  the  dream  content. 

On  the  one  hand  is  the  chain  of  ideas  about  my  friend 
Otto,  who  does  not  understand  me,  who  thinks  I  am  in  the 
wrong,  and  who  gives  me  the  cordial  that  smells  like  amyls  ; 
on  the  other  the  chain  of  ideas — connected  with  the  first  by 
contrast — about  my  friend  William,  who  understands  me  and 


who  would  always  think  I  was  in  the  right,  and  to  whom  I 
am  indebted  for  so  much  valuable  information  about  the 
chemistry  of  the  sexual  processes. 

Those  characteristics  of  the  associations  centering  about 
Otto  which  ought  particularly  to  attract  my  attention  are 
determined  by  the  recent  occasions  which  are  responsible  for 
the  dream  ;  amyls  belong  to  these  elements  so  determined 
which  are  destined  to  get  into  the  dream  content.  The  group 
of  associations  "  William  "  is  distinctly  vivified  by  the  con- 
trast to  Otto,  and  the  elements  in  it  which  correspond  to  those 
already  excited  in  the  "  Otto  "  associations  are  thrown  into 
relief.  In  this  whole  dream  I  am  continually  referring  to  a 
person  who  excites  my  displeasure  and  to  another  person  whom 
I  can  oppose  to  him  or  her  at  will,  and  I  conjure  up  the  friend 
as  against  the  enemy,  feature  for  feature.  Thus  amyls  in  the 
Otto-group  suggests  recollections  in  the  other  group  belonging 
to  chemistry  ;  trimethylamin,  which  receives  support  from 
several  quarters,  finds  its  way  into  the  dream  content. 
"  Amyls,"  too,  might  have  got  into  the  dream  content  without 
undergoing  change,  but  it  yields  to  the  influence  of  the 
"  William  "  group  of  associations,  owing  to  the  fact  that  an 
element  which  is  capable  of  furnishing  a  double  determina- 
tion for  amyls  is  sought  out  from  the  whole  range  of  recollec- 
tions which  the  name  "  William  "  covers.  The  association 
"  propyls  "  lies  in  the  neighbourhood  of  amyls ;  Munich  with 
the  propylseum  comes  to  meet  amyls  from  the  series  of  associa- 
tions belonging  to  "  William."  Both  groups  are  united  in 
propyls — propylceum.  As  though  by  a  compromise,  this  inter- 
mediary element  gets  into  the  dream  content.  Here  a 
common  mean  which  permits  of  a  manifold  determination  has 
been  created.  It  thus  becomes  perfectly  obvious  that  manifold 
determination  must  facilitate  penetration  into  the  dream 
content.  A  displacement  of  attention  from  what  is  really 
intended  to  something  lying  near  in  the  associations  has 
thoughtlessly  taken  place,  for  the  sake  of  this  mean-formation. 

The  study  of  the  injection  dream  has  now  enabled  us  to 
get  some  insight  into  the  process  of  condensation  which  takes 
place  in  the  formation  of  dreams.  The  selection  of  those 
elements  which  occur  in  the  dream  content  more  than  once, 
the  formation  of    new  unities  (collective  persons,  composite 


images),  and  the  construction  of  the  common  mean,  these  we 
have  been  able  to  recognise  as  details  of  the  condensing 
process.  The  purpose  which  is  served  by  condensation  and 
the  means  by  which  it  is  brought  about  will  be  investigated 
when  we  come  to  study  the  psychic  processes  in  the  formation 
of  dreams  as  a  whole.  Let  us  be  content  for  the  present 
with  establishing  dream  condensation  as  an  important  relation 
between  the  dream  thoughts  and  the  dream  content. 

The  condensing  activity  of  the  dream  becomes  most  tangible 
when  it  has  selected  words  and  names  as  its  object.  In  general 
words  are  often  treated  as  things  by  the  dream,  and  thus 
undergo  the  same  combinations,  displacements,  and  sub- 
stitutions, and  therefore  also  condensations,  as  ideas  of  things. 
The  results  of  such  dreams  are  comical  and  bizarre  word 
formations.  Upon  one  occasion  when  a  colleague  had  sent 
me  one  of  his  essays,  in  which  he  had,  in  my  judgment,  over- 
estimated the  value  of  a  recent  physiological  discovery  and 
had  expressed  himself  in  extravagant  terms,  I  dreamed  the 
following  night  a  sentence  which  obviously  referred  to  this 
treatise  :  "  That  is  in  true  norekdal  style."  The  solution  of 
this  word  formation  at  first  gave  me  difficulties,  although  it 
was  unquestionably  formed  as  a  parody  after  the  pattern  of 
the  superlatives  "  colossal,"  "  pyramidal  "  ;  but  to  tell  where 
it  came  from  was  not  easy.  At  last  the  monster  fell  apart 
into  the  two  names  Nora  and  Ekdal  from  two  well-known 
plays  by  Ibsen.  I  had  previously  read  a  newspaper  essay  on 
Ibsen  by  the  same  author,  whose  latest  work  I  was  thus 
criticising  in  the  dream. 

II.*  One  of  my  female  patients  dreams  that  a  man  with  a 
light  beard  and  a  peculiar  glittering  eye  is  pointing  to  a  sign  board 
attached  to  a  tree  which  reads  :  uclamparia — wet. 

Analysis.  The  man  was  rather  authoritative  looking,  and 
his  peculiar  glittering  eye  at  once  recalled  St.  Paul's  Cathedral, 
near  Rome,  where  she  saw  in  mosaics  the  Popes  that  have  so 
far  ruled.  One  of  the  early  Popes  had  a  golden  eye  (this  was 
realty  an  optical  illusion  which  the  guides  usually  call  attention 
to ) .  Further  associations  showed  that  the  general  physiognomy 
corresponded  to  her  own  clergyman  (Pope),  and  the  shape  of 
the  light  beard  recalled  her  doctor  (myself),  while  the  stature  of 
*  Given  by  translator  as  author's  example  could  not  be  translated. 


the  man  in  the  dream  recalled  her  father.  All  these  persons 
stand  in  the  same  relation  to  her  ;  they  are  all  guiding  and 
directing  her  course  of  life.  On  further  questioning,  the 
golden  eye  recalled  gold — money — the  rather  expensive 
psychoanalytic  treatment  which  gives  her  a  great  deal  of 
concern.  Gold,  moreover,  recalls  the  gold  cure  for  alcoholism 
— Mr.  D.,  whom  she  would  have  married  if  it  had  not  been  for 
his  clinging  to  the  disgusting  alcohol  habit — she  does  not 
object  to  a  person  taking  an  occasional  drink  ;  she  herself 
sometimes  drinks  beer  and  cordials — this  again  brings  her  back 
to  her  visit  to  St.  Paul's  without  the  walls  and  its  surroundings. 
She  remembers  that  in  the  neighbouring  monastery  of  the 
Three  Fountains  she  drank  a  liquor  made  of  eucalyptus  by 
the  Trappist  monks  who  inhabit  this  monastery.  She  then 
relates  how  the  monks  transformed  this  malarial  and  swampy 
region  into  a  dry  and  healthful  neighbourhood  by  planting 
there  many  eucalyptus  trees.  The  word  "  uclamparia " 
then  resolves  itself  into  eucalyptus  and  malaria,  and  the  word 
"  wet  "  refers  to  the  former  swampy  nature  of  the  place.  Wet 
also  suggests  dry.  Dry  is  actually  the  name  of  the  man 
whom  she  would  have  married  except  for  his  over-indulgence 
in  alcohol.  The  peculiar  name  of  Dry  is  of  Germanic  origin 
(drei  =  three)  and  hence  alludes  to  the  Abbey  of  the  Three 
(drei)  Fountains  above  mentioned.  In  talking  about  Mr.  Dry's 
habit  she  used  the  strong  words,  "  He  could  drink  a  fountain." 
Mr.  Dry  jocosely  refers  to  his  habit  by  saying,  "  You  know  I 
must  drink  because  I  am  always  dry  "  (referring  to  his  name). 
The  eucalyptus  also  refers  to  her  neurosis,  which  was  at  first 
diagnosed  as  malaria.  She  went  to  Italy  because  her  attacks 
of  anxiety,  which  were  accompanied  by  marked  trembling 
and  shivering,  were  thought  to  be  of  malarial  origin.  She 
bought  some  eucalyptus  oil  from  the  monks,  and  she  maintains 
that  it  has  done  her  much  good. 

The  condensation  uclamparia — wet  is  therefore  the  point  of 
junction  for  the  dream  as  well  as  for  the  neurosis.* 

*  The  same  analysis  and  synthesis  of  syllables — a  veritable  chemistry  of 
.syllables — serves  ns  for  many  a  jest  in  waking  life.  "What  is  the  cheapest 
method  of  obtaining  silver?  You  go  to  a  field  where  silver-berries  are 
growing  and  pick  them ;  then  the  berries  are  eliminated  and  the  silver 
remains  in  a  free  state."  The  first  person  who  read  and  criticised  this  book 
made  the  objection  to  me — which  other  readers  will  probably  repeat—"  that 


III.  In  a  somewhat  long  and  wild  dream  of  my  own,  the 
chief  point  of  which  is  apparently  a  sea  voyage,  it  happens 
that  the  next  landing  is  called  Hearsing  and  the  one  farther  on 
Fliess.  The  latter  is  the  name  of  my  friend  living  in  B.,who 
has  often  been  the  objective  point  of  my  travels.  But  Hearsing 
is  put  together  from  the  names  of  places  in  the  local  environ- 
ment of  Vienna,  which  so  often  end  in  ing :  Hietzing,  Liesing, 
Moedling  (Medelitz,  "  mese  deliciae,"  my  own  name,  "  my 
joy")  (joy  =  German  Freude),  and  the  English  hearsay, 
which  points  to  libel  and  establishes  the  relation  to  the  in- 
different dream  excitement  of  the  day — a  poem  in  the 
Fliegende  Blaetter  about  a  slanderous  dwarf,  "  Saidhe 
Hashesaid."  By  connecting  the  final  syllable  "  ing  "  with  the 
name  Fliess,  "  Vlissingen  "  is  obtained,  which  is  a  real  port  on 
the  sea-voyage  which  my  brother  passes  when  he  comes  to 
visit  us  from  England.  But  the  English  for  Vlissingen  is 
Flushing,  which  signifies  blushing  and  recalls  erythrophobia 
(fear  of  blushing),  which  I  treat,  and  also  reminds  me  of  a 
recent  publication  by  Bechterew  about  this  neurosis,  which 
has  given  occasion  for  angry  feelings  in  me. 

IV.  Upon  another  occasion  I  had  a  dream  which  consisted 
of  two  parts.  The  first  was  the  vividly  remembered  word 
"  Autodidasker,"  the  second  was  truthfully  covered  by  a 
short  and  harmless  fancy  which  had  been  developed  a  few 
days  before,  and  which  was  to  the  effect  that  I  must  tell 
Professor  N.,  when  I  saw  him  next  :  "  The  patient  about 
whose  condition  I  last  consulted  you  is  really  suffering  from 
a  neurosis,  just  as  you  suspected."  The  coinage  "  Auto- 
didasker "  must,  then,  not  only  satisfy  the  requirement  that  it 
should  contain  or  represent  a  compressed  meaning,  but  also 

the  dreamer  often  appears  too  witty."  That  is  true,  as  long  as  it  applies 
to  the  dreamer ;  it  involves  a  condemnation  only  when  its  application  is 
extended  to  the  interpreter  of  the  dream.  In  waking  reality  I  can  make 
very  little  claim  to  the  predicate  "witty"  ;  if  my  dreams  appear  witty,  this 
is  not  the  fault  of  my  individuality,  but  of  the  peculiar  psychological  con- 
ditions under  which  the  dream  is  fabricated,  and  is  intimately  connected 
with  the  theory  of  wit  and  the  comical.  The  dream  becomes  witty  because 
the  shortest  and  most  direct  way  to  the  expression  of  its  thoughts  is  barred 
for  it :  the  dream  is  under  constraint.  My  readers  may  convince  themselves 
that  the  dreams  of  my  patients  give  the  impression  of  being  witty  (attempt- 
ing to  be  witty),  in  the  same  degree  and  in  a  greater  than  my  own. 
Nevertheless  this  reproach  impelled  me  to  compare  the  technique  of  wit 
with  the  dream  activity,  which  I  have  done  in  a  book  published  in  1905, 
on  Wit  and  its  Relation  to  the  Unconscious.     (Author.) 


that  this  meaning  should  have  a  valid  connection  with  my 
purpose,  which  is  repeated  from  waking  life,  of  giving  Pro- 
fessor N.  his  due  credit. 

Now  Autodidasker  is  easily  separated  into  author  (German 
Autor),  autodidact,  and  Lasker,  with  whom  is  associated  the 
name  Lasalle.  The  first  of  these  words  leads  to  the  occasion 
of  the  dream — which  this  time  is  significant.  I  had  brought 
home  to  my  wife  several  volumes  by  a  well-known  author, 
who  is  a  friend  of  my  brother's,  and  who,  as  I  have  learned, 
comes  from  the  same  town  as  I  (J.  J.  David).  One  evening 
she  spoke  to  me  about  the  profound  impression  which  the 
touching  sadness  of  a  story  in  one  of  David's  novels,  about  a 
talented  but  degenerate  person,  had  made  upon  her,  and  our 
conversation  turned  upon  the  indications  of  talent  which  we 
perceive  in  our  own  children.  Under  the  influence  of  what  she 
had  just  read,  my  wife  expressed  a  concern  relative  to  our 
children,  and  I  comforted  her  with  the  remark  that  it  is  just 
such  dangers  that  can  be  averted  by  education.  During  the 
night  my  train  of  thoughts  proceeded  further,  took  up  the 
concern  of  my  wife,  and  connected  with  it  all  sorts  of  other 
things.  An  opinion  which  the  poet  had  expressed  to  my 
brother  upon  the  subject  of  marriage  showed  my  thoughts  a 
by-path  which  might  lead  to  a  representation  in  the  dream. 
This  path  led  to  Breslau,  into  which  city  a  lady  who  was  a 
very  good  friend  of  ours  had  married.  I  found  in  Breslau 
Lasker  and  Las  alle  as  examples  realising  our  concern  about 
being  ruined  at  the  hands  of  a  woman,  examples  which 
enabled  me  to  represent  both  manifestations  of  this  influence 
for  the  bad  at  once.*  The  "  Cherchez  la  femme,"  in  which 
these  thoughts  may  be  summed  up,  when  taken  in  another 
sense,  brings  me  to  my  brother,  who  is  still  unmarried  and 
whose  name  is  Alexander.  Now  I  see  that  Alex,  as  we  ab- 
breviate the  name,  sounds  almost  like  inversion  of  Lasker 
and  that  this  factor  must  have  taken  part  in  giving  my 
thoughts  their  detour  by  way  of  Breslau. 

But  this  playing  with  names  and  syllables  in  which  I  am 
here  engaged  contains  still  another  meaning.     The  wish  that 

*  Lasker  died  of  progressive  paralysis,  that  is  of  the  consecpiences  of  an 
infection  caught  from  a  woman  (lues) ;  Lasalle,  as  is  well  known,  was  killed 
in  a  duel  on  account  of  a  lady. 


my  brother  may  have  a  happy  family  life  is  represented  by  it 
in  the  following  manner.  In  the  artistic  romance  UCEuvre, 
the  writer,  as  is  well  known,  has  incidentally  given  an  episodic 
account  of  himself  and  of  his  own  family  happiness,  and  he 
appears  under  the  name  of  Sandoz.  Probably  he  has  taken 
the  following  course  in  the  name  transformation.  Zola  when 
inverted  (as  children  like  so  much  to  do)  gives  Aloz.  But  that 
was  still  too  undisguised  for  him  ;  therefore  he  replaced  the 
syllable  Al,  which  stands  at  the  beginning  of  the  name 
Alexander,  by  the  third  syllable  of  the  same  name,  sand,  and 
thus  Sandoz  came  about.  In  a  similar  manner  my  autodi- 
dasher  originated. 

My  fancy,  that  I  am  telling  Professor  N.  that  the  patient 
whom  we  had  both  seen  is  suffering  from  a  neurosis,  got  into 
the  dream  in  the  following  manner.  Shortly  before  the  close 
of  my  working  year  I  received  a  patient  in  whose  case  my 
diagnosis  failed  me.  A  serious  organic  affliction — perhaps 
some  changes  in  the  spine — was  to  be  assumed,  but  could  not 
be  proved.  It  would  have  been  tempting  to  diagnose  the 
trouble  as  a  neurosis,  and  this  would  have  put  an  end  to  all 
difficulties,  had  it  not  been  for  the  fact  that  the  sexual 
anamnesis,  without  which  I  am  unwilling  to  admit  a  neurosis, 
was  so  energetically  denied  by  the  patient.  In  my  embarrass- 
ment I  called  to  my  assistance  the  physician  whom  I  respect 
most  of  all  men  (as  others  do  also),  and  to  whose  authority  I 
surrender  most  completely.  He  listened  to  my  doubts,  told 
me  he  thought  them  justified,  and  then  said  :  "  Keep  on 
observing  the  man,  it  is  probably  a  neurosis."  Since  I  know 
that  he  does  not  share  my  opinions  about  the  etiology  of 
neuroses,  I  suppressed  my  disagreement,  but  I  did  not  conceal 
my  scepticism.  A  few  days  after  I  informed  the  patient  that 
I  did  not  know  what  to  do  with  him,  and  advised  him  to  go 
to  some  one  else.  Thereupon,  to  my  great  astonishment,  he 
began  to  beg  my  pardon  for  having  lied  to  me,  saying  that  he 
had  felt  very  much  ashamed  ;  and  now  he  revealed  to  me  just 
that  piece  of  sexual  etiology  which  I  had  expected,  and  which 
I  found  necessary  for  assuming  the  existence  of  a  neurosis. 
This  was  a  relief  to  me,  but  at  the  same  time  a  humiliation  ; 
for  I  had  to  admit  that  my  consultant,  who  was  not  dis- 
concerted by  the  absence  of  anamnesis,  had  made  a  correct 


observation.  I  made  up  my  mind  to  tell  him  about  it  when  I 
saw  him  again,  and  to  say  to  him  that  he  had  been  in  the 
right  and  I  in  the  wrong. 

This  is  just  what  I  do  in  the  dream.  But  what  sort  of  a 
wish  is  supposed  to  be  fulfilled  if  I  acknowledge  that  I  am  in 
the  wrong  ?  This  is  exactly  my  wish  ;  I  wish  to  be  in  the 
wrong  with  my  apprehensions — that  is  to  say,  I  wish  that  my 
wife  whose  fears  I  have  appropriated  in  the  dream  thoughts 
may  remain  in  the  wrong.  The  subject  to  which  the  matter 
of  being  in  the  right  or  in  the  wrong  is  related  in  the  dream  is 
not  far  distant  from  what  is  really  interesting  to  the  dream 
thoughts.  It  is  the  same  pair  of  alternatives  of  either  organic 
or  functional  impairment  through  a  woman,  more  properly 
through  the  sexual  life — either  tabetic  paralysis  or  a  neurosis 
— with  which  the  manner  of  Lasalle's  ruin  is  more  or  less 
loosely  connected. 

In  this  well-joined  dream  (which,  however,  is  quite  trans- 
parent with  the  help  of  careful  analysis)  Professor  N.  plays  a 
part  not  merely  on  account  of  this  analogy  and  of  my  wish  to 
remain  in  the  wrong,  or  on  account  of  the  associated  references 
to  Breslau  and  to  the  family  of  our  friend  who  is  married 
there — but  also  on  account  of  the  following  little  occurrence 
which  was  connected  with  our  consultation.  After  he  had 
attended  to  our  medical  task  by  giving  the  above  mentioned 
suggestion,  his  interest  was  directed  to  personal  matters. 
"  How  many  children  have  you  now  ?  " — "  Six." — A  gesture 
of  respect  and  reflection. — "  Girls,  boys  ?  " — "  Three  of  each. 
They  are  my  pride  and  my  treasure." — "  Well,  there  is  no 
difficulty  about  the  girls,  but  the  boys  give  trouble  later  on 
in  their  education."  I  replied  that  until  now  they  had  been 
very  tractable  ;  this  second  diagnosis  concerning  the  future 
of  my  boys  of  course  pleased  me  as  little  as  the  one  he  had 
made  earlier,  namely,  that  my  patient  had  only  a  neurosis. 
These  two  impressions,  then,  are  bound  together  by  contiguity, 
by  being  successively  received,  and  if  I  incorporate  the  story 
of  the  neurosis  into  the  dream,  I  substitute  it  for  the  conversa- 
tion upon  education  which  shows  itself  to  be  even  more  closely 
connected  with  the  dream  thoughts  owing  to  the  fact  that  it 
has  such  an  intimate  bearing  upon  the  subsequently  expressed 
concerns  of  my  wife.     Thus  even  my  fear  that  N.  may  turn  out 


to  be  right  in  his  remarks  on  the  educational  difficulties  in  the 
case  of  boys  is  admitted  into  the  dream  content,  in  that  it  is 
concealed  behind  the  representation  of  my  wish  that  I  may  be 
wrong  in  such  apprehensions.  The  same  fancy  serves  without 
change  to  represent  both  conflicting  alternatives. 

The  verbal  compositions  of  the  dream  are  very  similar 
to  those  which  are  known  to  occur  in  paranoia,  but  which  are 
also  found  in  hysteria  and  in  compulsive  ideas.  The  linguistic 
habits  of  children,  who  at  certain  periods  actually  treat  words 
as  objects  and  invent  new  languages  and  artificial  syntaxes, 
are  in  this  case  the  common  source  for  the  dream  as  well  as  for 
psy  choneuroses . 

When  speeches  occur  in  the  dream,  which  are  expressly 
distinguished  from  thoughts  as  such,  it  is  an  invariable  rule 
that  the  dream  speech  has  originated  from  a  remembered 
speech  in  the  dream  material.  Either  the  wording  has  been 
preserved  in  its  integrity,  or  it  has  been  slightly  changed  in 
the  course  of  expression  ;  frequently  the  dream  speech  is 
pieced  together  from  various  recollections  of  speeches,  while 
the  wording  has  remained  the  same  and  the  meaning  has 
possibly  been  changed  so  as  to  have  two  or  more  significations. 
Not  infrequently  the  dream  speech  serves  merely  as  an  allusion 
to  an  incident,  at  which  the  recollected  speech  occurred.* 

(6)  The  Work  of  Displacement 

Another  sort  of  relation,  which  is  no  less  significant,  must 
have  come  to  our  notice  while  we  were  collecting  examples 
of  dream  condensation.  We  have  seen  that  those  elements 
which  obtrude  themselves  in  the  dream  content  as  its  essential 
components  play  a  part  in  the  dream  thoughts  which  is  by 
no  means  the  same.  As  a  correlative  to  this  the  converse  of 
this  thesis  is  also  true.  That  which  is  clearly  the  essential 
thing  in  the  dream  thoughts  need  not  be  represented  in  the 
dream  at  all.  The  dream,  as  it  were,  is  eccentric ;  its  contents 
are  grouped  about  other  elements  than  the  dream  thoughts 

*  In  the  case  of  a  young  man  who  was  suffering  from  obsessions,  but 
whose  intellectual  functions  were  intact  and  highly  developed,  I  recently 
found  the  only  exception  to  this  rule.  The  speeches  which  occurred  in  his 
dreams  did  not  originate  in  speeches  which  he  had  heard  or  had  made  him- 
self, but  corresponded  to  the  undisfigured  wording  of  his  obsessive  thoughts, 
which  only  came  to  his  consciousness  in  a  changed  state  while  he  was  awake. 


as  a  central  point.  Thus,  for  example,  in  the  dream  about 
the  botanical  monograph  the  central  point  of  the  dream 
content  is  apparently  the  element  "  botanical "  ;  in  the 
dream  thoughts  we  are  concerned  with  the  complications  and 
conflicts  which  result  from  services  rendered  among  colleagues 
which  put  them  under  obligations  to  one  another,  subse- 
quently with  the  reproach  that  I  am  in  the  habit  of  sacrificing 
too  much  to  my  hobbies,  and  the  element  "  botanical  "  would 
in  no  case  find  a  place  in  this  nucleus  of  the  dream  thoughts 
if  it  were  not  loosely  connected  with  it  by  an  antithesis,  for 
botany  was  never  among  my  favourite  studies.  In  the  Sappho 
dream  of  my  patient  the  ascending  and  descending,  being 
upstairs  and  down,  is  made  the  central  point ;  the  dream, 
however,  is  concerned  with  the  danger  of  sexual  relations 
with  persons  of  low  degree,  so  that  only  one  of  the  elements  of 
the  dream  thoughts  seems  to  have  been  taken  over  into  the 
dream  content,  albeit  with  unseemly  elaboration.  Similarly 
in  the  dream  about  June  bugs,  whose  subject  is  the  relation 
of  sexuality  to  cruelty,  the  factor  of  cruelty  has  indeed  re- 
appeared but  in  a  different  connection  and  without  the  mention 
of  the  sexual,  that  is  to  say,  it  has  been  torn  from  its  context 
and  transformed  into  something  strange.  Again,  in  the 
dream  about  my  uncle,  the  blond  beard,  which  seems  to  be 
its  central  point,  appears  to  have  no  rational  connection  with 
the  wishes  for  greatness  which  we  have  recognised  as  the 
nucleus  of  the  dream  thoughts.  It  is  only  to  be  expected  if 
such  dreams  give  a  displaced  impression.  In  complete  con- 
trast to  these  examples,  the  dream  of  Irma's  injection  shows 
that  individual  elements  can  claim  the  same  place  in  the 
formation  of  dreams  which  they  occupy  in  the  dream  thoughts. 
The  recognition  of  these  new  and  entirely  variable  relations 
between  the  dream  thoughts  and  the  dream  content  is  at 
first  likely  to  excite  our  astonishment.  If  we  find  in  a  psychic 
process  of  normal  life  that  an  idea  has  been  culled  from  among 
a  number  of  others,  and  has  acquired  particular  vividness  in 
our  consciousness,  we  are  in  the  habit  of  regarding  this  result 
as  a  proof  that  the  victorious  idea  is  endowed  with  a  peculiarly 
high  degree  of  psychic  value — a  certain  degree  of  interest. 
We  now  discover  that  this  value  of  the  individual  elements  in 
the  dream  thoughts  is  not  preserved  in  the  formation  of  the 


dream,  or  does  not  come  into  consideration.  For  there  is  no 
doubt  as  to  the  elements  of  the  dream  thoughts  which  are  of 
the  highest  value  ;  our  judgment  tells  us  immediately.  In 
the  formation  of  dreams  those  elements  which  are  emphasized 
with  intense  interest  may  be  treated  as  though  they  were  in- 
ferior, and  other  elements  are  put  in  their  place  which  certainly 
were  inferior  in  the  dream  thoughts.  We  are  at  first  given 
the  impression  that  the  psychic  intensity  *  of  the  individual 
ideas  does  not  come  into  consideration  at  all  for  the  selection 
made  by  the  dream,  but  only  their  greater  or  smaller  multi- 
plicity of  determination.  Not  what  is  important  in  the 
dream  thoughts  gets  into  the  dream,  but  what  is  contained 
in  them  several  times  over,  one  might  be  inclined  to  think  ; 
but  our  understanding  of  the  formation  of  dreams  is  not  much 
furthered  by  this  assumption,  for  at  the  outset  it  will  be  im- 
possible to  believe  that  the  two  factors  of  manifold  deter- 
mination and  of  integral  value  do  not  tend  in  the  same  direc- 
tion in  the  influence  they  exert  on  the  selection  made  by  the 
dream.  Those  ideas  in  the  dream  thoughts  which  are  most 
important  are  probably  also  those  which  recur  most  frequently, 
for  the  individual  dream  thoughts  radiate  from  them  as  from 
central  points.  And  still  the  dream  may  reject  those  elements 
which  are  especially  emphasized  and  which  receive  manifold 
support,  and  may  take  up  into  its  content  elements  which 
are  endowed  only  with  the  latter  property. 

This  difficulty  may  be  solved  by  considering  another  im- 
pression received  in  the  investigation  of  the  manifold  deter- 
mination of  the  dream  content.  Perhaps  many  a  reader  has 
already  passed  his  own  judgment  upon  this  investigation  by 
saying  that  the  manifold  determination  of  the  elements  of  the 
dream  is  not  a  significant  discovery,  because  it  is  a  self-evident 
one.  In  the  analysis  one  starts  from  the  dream  elements,  and 
registers  all  the  notions  which  are  connected  with  them  ;  it  is 
no  wonder,  then,  that  these  elements  should  occur  with  particu- 
lar frequency  in  the  thought  material  which  is  obtained  in  this 
manner.  I  cannot  acknowledge  the  validity  of  this  objection, 
but  shall  say  something  myself  which  sounds  like  it.     Among 

*  Psychic  intensity,  value,  and  emphasis  clue  to  the  interest  of  an  idea 
are,  of  course,  to  be  kept  distinct  from  sensational  intensity,  and  from  intensity 
of  that  'which  is  conceived. 


the  thoughts  which  analysis  brings  to  light,  many  can  be 
found  which  are  far  removed  from  the  central  idea  of  the 
dream,  and  which  appear  distinguished  from  the  rest  as  artificial 
interpolations  for  a  definite  purpose.  Their  purpose  may 
easily  be  discovered  ;  they  are  just  the  ones  which  establish 
a  connection,  often  a  forced  and  far-fetched  one,  between  the 
dream  content  and  the  dream  thoughts,  and  if  these  elements 
were  to  be  weeded  out,  not  only  over-determination  but  also 
a  sufficient  determination  by  means  of  the  dream  thoughts 
would  often  be  lacking  for  the  dream  content.  We  are  thus 
led  to  the  conclusion  that  manifold  determination,  which 
decides  the  selection  made  by  the  dream,  is  perhaps  not  always 
a  primary  factor  in  dream  formation,  but  is  often  the  secondary 
manifestation  of  a  psychic  power  which  is  still  unknown  to  us. 
But  in  spite  of  all  this,  manifold  determination  must  never- 
theless control  the  entrance  of  individual  elements  into  the 
dream,  for  it  is  possible  to  observe  that  it  is  established  with 
considerable  effort  in  cases  where  it  does  not  result  from  the 
dream  material  without  assistance. 

The  assumption  is  not  now  far  distant  that  a  psychic  force 
is  expressed  in  dream  activity  which  on  the  one  hand  strips 
elements  of  high  psychic  value  of  their  intensity,  and  which 
on  the  other  hand  creates  new  values,  by  way  of  over-determina- 
tion, from  elements  of  small  value,  these  new  values  subse- 
quently getting  into  the  dream  content.  If  this  is  the  method 
of  procedure,  there  has  taken  place  in  the  formation  of  the 
dream  a  transference  and  displacement  of  the  psychic  in- 
tensities of  the  individual  elements,  of  which  the  textual 
difference  between  the  dream  and  the  thought  content  appears 
as  a  result.  The  process  which  we  assume  here  is  nothing 
less  than  the  essential  part  of  the  dream  activity  ;  it  merits 
the  designation  of  dream  displacement.  Dream  displacement 
and  dream  condensation  are  the  two  craftsmen  to  whom  we 
may  chiefly  attribute  the  moulding  of  the  dream. 

I  think  we  also  have  an  easy  task  in  recognising  the  psychic 
force  which  makes  itself  felt  in  the  circumstances  of  dream 
displacement.  The  result  of  this  displacement  is  that  the 
dream  content  no  longer  resembles  the  core  of  the  dream 
thoughts  at  all,  and  that  the  dream  reproduces  only  a  disfigured 
form  of   the  dream-wish  in   the   unconscious.     But  we  are 


already  acquainted  with  dream  disfigurement ;  we  have 
traced  it  back  to  the  censorship  which  one  psychic  instance  in 
the  psychic  life  exercises  upon  the  other.  Dream  displace- 
ment is  one  of  the  chief  means  for  achieving  this  disfigurement. 
Is  fecit,  cui  profuit.  We  may  assume  that  dream  displacement 
is  brought  about  by  the  influence  of  this  censor,  of  the  endo- 
psychic  repulsion.* 

The  manner  in  which  the  factors  of  displacement,  condensa- 
tion, and  over-determination  play  into  one  another  in  the 
formation  of  the  dream,  which  is  the  ruling  factor  and  which 
the  subordinate  one,  all  this  will  be  reserved  as  the  subject  of 
later  investigations.  For  the  present  we  may  state,  as  a 
second  condition  which  the  elements  must  satisfy  in  order  to 
get  into  the  dream,  that  they  must  be  withdrawn  from  the  censor 
of  resistance.     From  now  on  we  shall  take  account  of  dream 

*  Since  I  consider  this  reference  of  dream  disfigurement  to  the  censor 
as  the  essence  of  my  dream  theory,  I  here  insert  the  latter  portion  of  a  story 
"  Traumen  wie  Wachen  "  from  Phantasien  eines  Realisten,  by  Lynkeus,  Vienna, 
(second  edition,  1900),  in  which  I  find  this  chief  feature  of  my  theory 
reproduced  : — 

"  Concerning  a  man  who  possesses  the  remarkable  quality  of  never  dream- 
ing nonsense.  .  .  ." 

"  Your  marvellous  characteristic  of  dreaming  as  you  wake  is  based  upon 
your  virtues,  upon  your  goodness,  your  justice,  and  your  love  for  truth  ;  it 
is  the  moral  clearness  of  your  nature  which  makes  everything  about  you 

"  But  if  you  think  the  matter  over  carefully,"  replied  the  other,  "  I 
almost  believe  that  all  people  are  created  as  I  am,  and  that  no  human  being 
ever  dreams  nonsense  !  A  dream  which  is  so  distinctly  remembered  that  it 
can  be  reproduced,  which  is  therefore  no  dream  of  delirium,  ahvays  has  a 
meaning  :  why,  it  cannot  be  otherwise  !  For  that  which  is  in  contradiction 
with  itself  can  never  be  grouped  together  as  a  whole.  The  fact  that  time 
and  space  are  often  thoroughly  shaken  up  detracts  nothing  from  the  real 
meaning  of  the  dream,  because  neither  of  them  has  had  any  significance 
whatever  for  its  essential  contents.  We  often  do  the  same  thing  in  waking 
life  ;  think  of  the  fairy-tale,  of  many  daring  and  profound  phantastic  crea- 
tions, about  which  only  an  ignorant  person  would  say :  '  That  is  nonsense  ! 
For  it  is  impossible.'  " 

"If  it  were  only  always  possible  to  interpret  dreams  correctly,  as  you 
have  just  done  with  mine  !  "  said  the  friend. 

"That  is  certainly  not  an  easy  task,  but  the  dreamer  himself  ought 
always  to  succeed  in  doing  it  with  a  little  concentration  of  attention.  .  .  . 
You  ask  why  it  is  generally  impossible  1  Your  dreams  seem  to  conceal 
something  secret,  something  unchaste  of  a  peculiar  and  higher  nature,  a 
certain  mystery  in  your  nature  which  cannot  easily  be  revealed  by  thought ; 
and  it  is  for  that  reason  that  your  dreaming  seems  so  often  to  be  without 
meaning,  or  even  to  be  a  contradiction.  But  in  the  profoundest  sense  this 
is  by  no  means  the  case  ;  indeed  it  cannot  be  true  at  all,  for  it  is  always  the 
same  person,  whether  he  is  asleep  or  awake." 


displacement  as  an  unquestionable  fact  in  the  interpretation 
of  dreams. 

(c)  Means  of  Representation  in  the  Dream 

Besides  the  two  factors  of  dream  condensation  and  dream 
displacement  which  we  have  found  to  be  active  in  the  trans- 
formation of  the  latent  dream  material  into  the  manifest 
content,  we  shall  come  in  the  course  of  this  investigation 
upon  two  other  conditions  which  exercise  an  unquestionable 
influence  upon  the  selection  of  the  material  which  gets  into 
the  dream.  Even  at  the  risk  of  seeming  to  stop  our  progress, 
I  should  like  to  glance  at  the  processes  by  which  the  inter- 
pretation of  dreams  is  accomplished.  I  do  not  deny  that  I 
should  succeed  best  in  making  them  clear,  and  in  showing 
that  they  are  sufficiently  reliable  to  insure  them  against 
attack,  by  taking  a  single  dream  as  a  paradigm  and  develop- 
ing its  interpretation,  as  I  have  done  in  Chapter  II.  in  the 
dream  of  "  Irma's  Injection,"  and  then  putting  together  the 
dream  thoughts  which  I  have  discovered,  and  reconstructing 
the  formation  of  the  dream  from  them — that  is  to  say,  by 
supplementing  the  analysis  of  dreams  by  a  synthesis  of  them. 
I  have  accomplished  this  with  several  specimens  for  my  own 
instruction  ;  but  I  cannot  undertake  to  do  it  here  because  I 
am  prevented  by  considerations,  which  every  right-minded 
person  must  approve  of,  relative  to  the  psychic  material 
necessary  for  such  a  demonstration.  In  the  analysis  of  dreams 
these  considerations  present  less  difficulty,  for  an  analysis 
may  be  incomplete  and  still  retain  its  value  even  if  it  leads 
only  a  short  way  into  the  thought  labyrinth  of  the  dream. 
I  do  not  see  how  a  synthesis  could  be  anything  short  of  com- 
plete in  order  to  be  convincing.  I  could  give  a  complete 
synthesis  only  of  the  dreams  of  such  persons  as  are  unknown 
to  the  reading  public.  Since,  however,  only  neurotic  patients 
furnish  me  with  the  means  for  doing  this,  this  part  of  the 
description  of  the  dream  must  be  postponed  until  I  can  carry 
the  psychological  explanation  of  neuroses  far  enough — else- 
where— to  be  able  to  show  their  connection  with  the  subject 
matter  under  consideration.* 

*  1  have  since  given  the  complete  analysis  and  synthesis  of  two  dreams  in 
the  Bruchstueck  einer  Hysterieanalyse,  1905. 

THE    DREAM  WORK  289 

From  my  attempts  synthetically  to  construct  dreams  from 
the  dream  thoughts,  I  know  that  the  material  which  is  ob- 
tained from  interpretation  varies  in  value.  For  a  part  of  it 
consists  of  the  essential  dream  thoughts  which  would,  therefore, 
completely  replace  the  dream,  and  which  would  in  themselves 
be  sufficient  for  this  replacement  if  there  were  no  censor  for 
the  dream.  The  other  part  may  be  summed  up  under  the 
term  "  collaterals  "  ;  taken  as  a  whole  they  represent  the 
means  by  which  the  real  wish  that  arises  from  the  dream 
thoughts  is  transformed  into  the  dream-wish.  A  first  part 
of  these  "  collaterals "  consists  of  allusions  to  the  actual 
dream  thoughts,  which,  considered  schematically,  correspond 
to  displacements  from  the  essential  to  the  non-essential.  A 
second  part  comprises  the  thoughts  which  connect  these  non- 
essential elements,  that  have  become  significant  through 
displacement  with  one  another,  and  which  reach  from  them 
into  the  dream  content.  Finally  a  third  part  contains  the 
ideas  and  thought  connections  which  (in  the  work  of  inter- 
pretation) conduct  us  from  the  dream  content  to  the  inter- 
mediary collaterals,  all  of  which  need  not  necessarily  have 
participated  in  the  formation  of  the  dream. 

At  this  point  we  are  interested  exclusively  in  the  essential 
dream  thoughts.  These  are  usually  found  to  be  a  complex 
of  thoughts  and  memories  of  the  most  intricate  possible  con- 
struction, and  to  possess  all  the  properties  of  the  thought 
processes  which  are  known  to  us  from  waking  life.  Not 
infrequently  they  are  trains  of  thought  which  proceed  from 
more  than  one  centre,  but  which  do  not  lack  points  of  con- 
nection ;  almost  regularly  a  chain  of  thought  stands  next  to  its 
contradictory  correlative,  being  connected  with  it  by  contrast 

The  individual  parts  of  this  complicated  structure  naturally 
stand  in  the  most  manifold  logical  relations  to  one  another. 
They  constitute  a  foreground  or  background,  digressions, 
illustrations,  conditions,  chains  of  argument,  and  objections. 
When  the  whole  mass  of  these  dream  thoughts  is  subjected 
to  the  pressure  of  the  dream  activity,  during  which  the  parts 
are  turned  about,  broken  up,  and  pushed  together,  something 
like  drifting  ice,  there  arises  the  question,  what  becomes  of 
the  logical  ties  which  until  now  had  given  form  to  the  struc- 



ture  ?  What  representation  do  "if,"  "  because,"  "  as  though," 
"  although,"  "  either — or,"  and  all  the  other  conjunctions, 
without  which  we  cannot  understand  a  phrase  or  a  sentence, 
receive  in  the  dream  ? 

At  first  we  must  answer  that  the  dream  has  at  its  disposal 
no  means  for  representing  these  logical  relations  among  the 
dream  thoughts.  In  most  cases  it  disregards  all  these  con- 
junctions, and  undertakes  the  elaboration  only  of  the  ob- 
jective content  of  the  dream  thoughts.  It  is  left  to  the 
interpretation  of  the  dream  to  restore  the  coherence  which 
the  activity  of  the  dream  has  destroyed. 

If  the  dream  lacks  ability  to  express  these  relations,  the 
psychic  material  of  which  the  dream  is  wrought  must  be 
responsible.  The  descriptive  arts  are  limited  in  the  same 
manner — painting  and  the  plastic  arts  in  comparison  with 
poetry,  which  can  employ  speech  ;  and  here  too  the  reason  for 
this  impotence  is  to  be  found  in  the  material  in  the  treatment 
of  which  the  two  arts  strive  to  give  expression  to  something. 
Before  the  art  of  painting  had  arrived  at  an  understanding  of 
the  laws  of  expression  by  which  it  is  bound,  it  attempted  to 
escape  this  disadvantage.  In  old  paintings  little  tags  were 
hung  from  the  mouths  of  the  persons  represented  giving  the 
speech,  the  expression  of  which  in  the  picture  the  artist 
despaired  of. 

Perhaps  an  objection  will  here  be  raised  challenging  the 
assertion  that  the  dream  dispenses  with  the  representation 
of  logical  relations.  There  are  dreams  in  which  the  most 
complicated  intellectual  operations  take  place,  in  which  proof 
and  refutation  are  offered,  puns  and  comparisons  made,  just  as 
in  waking  thoughts.  But  here,  too,  appearances  are  deceitful ; 
if  the  interpretation  of  such  dreams  is  pursued,  it  is  found  that 
all  of  this  is  dream  material,  not  the  representation  of  intellectual 
activity  in  the  dream.  The  content  of  the  dream  thoughts  is 
reproduced  by  the  apparent  thinking  of  the  dream,  not  the 
relations  of  the  dream  thoughts  to  one  another,  in  the  determina- 
tion of  which  relations  thinking  consists.  I  shall  give  examples 
of  this.  But  the  thesis  which  is  most  easily  established  is 
that  all  speeches  which  occur  in  the  dream,  and  which  are 
expressly  designated  as  such,  are  unchanged  or  only  slightly 
modified  copies  of  speeches  which  are  likewise  to  be  found  in 


the  recollections  of  the  dream  material.  Often  the  speech  is 
only  an  allusion  to  an  event  contained  in  the  dream  thoughts  ; 
the  meaning  of  the  dream  is  a  quite  different  one. 

I  shall  not  deny,  indeed,  that  there  is  also  critical  thought 
activity  which  does  not  merely  repeat  material  from  the 
dream  thoughts  and  which  takes  part  in  the  formation  of  the 
dream.  I  shall  have  to  explain  the  influence  of  this  factor 
at  the  close  of  this  discussion.  It  will  then  become  clear  that 
this  thought  activity  is  evoked  not  by  the  dream  thoughts, 
but  by  the  dream  itself  after  it  is  already  finished  in  a  certain 

We  shall,  therefore,  consider  it  settled  for  the  present  that 
the  logical  relations  among  the  dream  thoughts  do  not  enjoy 
any  particular  representation  in  the  dream.  For  instance, 
where  there  is  a  contradiction  in  the  dream,  this  is  either  a 
contradiction  directed  against  the  dream  itself  or  a  contra- 
diction derived  from  the  content  of  one  of  the  dream  thoughts  ; 
a  contradiction  in  the  dream  corresponds  to  a  contradiction 
among  the  dream  thoughts  only  in  a  highly  indirect  manner. 

But  just  as  the  art  of  painting  finally  succeeded  in  de- 
picting in  the  represented  persons,  at  least  their  intention  in 
speaking — their  tenderness,  threatening  attitude,  warning  mien, 
and  the  like — by  other  means  than  the  dangling  tag,  so  also 
the  dream  has  found  it  possible  to  render  account  of  a  few  of 
the  logical  relations  among  its  dream  thoughts  by  means  of 
an  appropriate  modification  of  the  peculiar  method  of  dream 
representation.  It  will  be  found  by  experience  that  different 
dreams  go  to  different  lengths  in  taking  this  into  consideration  ; 
while  one  dream  entirely  disregards  the  logical  coherence  of 
its  material,  another  attempts  to  indicate  it  as  completely  as 
possible.  In  so  doing  the  dream  departs  more  or  less  widely 
from  the  subject-matter  which  it  is  to  elaborate.  The  dream 
also  takes  a  similarly  varying  attitude  towards  the  temporal 
coherence  of  the  dream  thoughts,  if  such  coherence  has  been 
established  in  the  unconscious  (as  for  example  in  the  dream  of 
Irma's  injection). 

But  what  are  the  means  by  which  the  dream  activity  is 
enabled  to  indicate  these  relations  in  the  dream  material 
which  are  so  difficult  to  represent  ?  I  shall  attempt  to 
enumerate  these  separately. 


In  the  first  place,  the  dream  renders  account  of  the  con- 
nection which  is  undeniably  present  between  all  the  parts 
of  the  dream  thoughts  by  uniting  this  material  in  a  single 
composition  as  a  situation  or  process.  It  reproduces  logical 
connection  in  the  form  of  simultaneousness ;  in  this  case  it  acts 
something  like  the  painter  who  groups  together  all  the  philo- 
sophers or  poets  into  a  picture  of  the  school  of  Athens  or  of 
Parnassus,  although  these  were  never  at  once  present  in  any 
hall  or  on  any  mountain  top — though  they  do,  however,  form 
a  unity  from  the  point  of  view  of  reflective  contemplation. 

The  dream  carries  out  this  method  of  representation  in 
detail.  Whenever  it  shows  two  elements  close  together,  it 
vouches  for  a  particularly  intimate  connection  between  those 
elements  which  correspond  to  them  in  the  dream  thoughts. 
It  is  as  in  our  method  of  writing  :  to  signifies  that  the  two 
letters  are  to  be  pronounced  as  one  syllable,  while  t  with  o 
after  a  free  space  shows  that  t  is  the  last  letter  of  one  word 
and  o  the  first  letter  of  another.  According  to  this,  dream 
combinations  are  not  made  of  arbitrary,  completely  incon- 
gruent  elements  of  the  dream  material,  but  of  elements  that 
also  have  a  somewhat  intimate  relation  to  one  another  in  the 
dream  thoughts. 

For  representing  causal  relation  the  dream  has  two  methods, 
which  are  essentially  reducible  to  one.  The  more  frequent 
method,  in  cases,  for  example,  where  the  dream  thoughts  are 
to  the  effect  :  "  Because  this  was  so  and  so,  this  and  that 
must  happen,"  consists  in  making  the  premise  an  introductory 
dream  and  joining  the  conclusion  to  it  in  the  form  of  the  main 
dream.  If  my  interpretation  is  correct,  the  sequence  may  also 
be  reversed.  That  part  of  the  dream  which  is  more  completely 
worked  out  always  corresponds  to  the  conclusion. 

A  female  patient,  whose  dream  I  shall  later  give  in  full, 
once  furnished  me  with  a  neat  example  of  such  a  representa- 
tion of  causal  relationship.  The  dream  consisted  of  a  short 
prologue  and  of  a  very  elaborate  but  well  organised  dream 
composition,  which  might  be  entitled  :  "A  flower  of  speech." 
The  prologue  of  the  dream  is  as  follows  :  She  goes  to  the  two 
maids  in  the  kitchen  and  scolds  them  for  taking  so  long  to  prepare 
"  a  little  bite  of  food."  She  also  sees  a  great  many  coarse  dishes 
standing  in  the  kitchen,  inverted  so  that  the  water  may  drop  off 


them,  and  heaped  up  in  a  pile.  The  two  maids  go  to  fetch  water, 
and  must,  as  it  were,  step  into  a  river,  ivhich  reaches  up  to  the 
house  or  into  the  yard. 

Then  follows  the  main  dream,  which  begins  as  follows  : 
She  is  descending  from  a  high  place,  over  balustrades  that  are 
curiously  fashioned,  and  she  is  glad  that  her  dress  doesn't  get 
caught  anywhere,  &c.  Now  the  introductory  dream  refers 
to  the  house  of  the  lady's  parents.  Probably  she  has  often 
heard  from  her  mother  the  words  which  are  spoken  in  the 
kitchen.  The  piles  of  unwashed  dishes  are  taken  from  an 
unpretentious  earthenware  shop  which  was  located  in  the 
same  house.  The  second  part  of  this  dream  contains  an 
allusion  to  the  dreamer's  father,  who  always  had  a  great  deal 
to  do  with  servant  girls,  and  who  later  contracted  a  fatal 
disease  during  a  flood — the  house  stood  near  the  bank  of  a 
river.  The  thought  which  is  concealed  behind  the  intro- 
ductory dream,  then,  is  to  this  effect  :  "  Because  I  was  born 
in  this  house,  under  such  limited  and  unlovely  circumstances." 
The  main  dream  takes  up  the  same  thought,  and  presents  it  in 
a  form  that  has  been  altered  by  the  tendency  to  wish-fulfil- 
ment :  "I  am  of  exalted  origin."  Properly  then  :  "  Because 
I  was  born  in  such  low  circumstances,  my  career  has  been  so 
and  so." 

As  far  as  I  can  see,  the  partition  of  a  dream  into  two  unequal 
portions  does  not  always  signify  a  causal  relation  between 
the  thoughts  of  the  two  portions.  It  often  appears  as  though 
the  same  material  were  being  presented  in  the  two  dreams 
from  different  points  of  view  ;  or  as  though  the  two  dreams 
have  proceeded  from  two  separated  centres  in  the  dream 
material  and  their  contents  overlap,  so  that  the  object  which 
is  the  centre  of  one  dream  has  served  in  the  other  as  an 
allusion,  and  vice  versa.  But  in  a  certain  number  of  cases  a 
division  into  shorter  fore-dreams  and  longer  subsequent 
dreams  actually  signifies  a  causal  relation  between  the  two 
portions.  The  other  method  of  representing  causal  relation 
is  used  with  less  abundant  material  and  consists  in  the  change 
of  one  image  in  the  dream,  whether  a  person  or  a  thing,  into 
another.  It  is  only  in  cases  where  we  witness  this  change 
taking  place  in  the  dream  that  any  causal  relation  is  asserted 
to  exist,  not  where  we  merely  notice  that  one  thing  has  taken 


the  place  of  another.  I  said  that  both  methods  of  repre- 
senting causal  relation  are  reducible  to  the  same  thing  ;  in 
both  cases  causation  is  represented  by  a  succession,  now  by 
the  sequence  of  the  dreams,  now  by  the  immediate  transforma- 
tion of  one  image  into  another.  In  the  great  majority  of 
cases,  of  course,  causal  relation  is  not  expressed  at  all,  but  is 
obliterated  by  the  sequence  of  elements  which  is  unavoidable 
in  the  dream  process. 

The  dream  is  altogether  unable  to  express  the  alternative, 
"  either — or  "  ;  it  is  in  the  habit  of  taking  both  members  of 
this  alternative  into  one  context,  as  though  they  were  equally 
privileged.  A  classic  example  of  this  is  contained  in  the 
dream  of  Irma's  injection.  Its  latent  thoughts  obviously 
mean  :  I  am  innocent  of  the  continued  presence  of  Irma's 
pains  ;  the  fault  rests  either  with  her  resistance  to  accepting 
the  solution,  or  with  the  fact  that  she  is  living  under  un- 
favourable sexual  conditions,  which  I  am  unable  to  change,  or 
her  pains  are  not  of  a  hysteric  nature  at  all,  but  organic.  The 
dream,  however,  fulfils  all  these  possibilities,  which  are  almost 
exclusive,  and  is  quite  ready  to  extract  from  the  dream- wish 
an  additional  fourth  solution  of  this  kind.  After  interpreting 
the  dream  I  have  therefore  inserted  the  either — or  in  the 
sequence  of  the  dream  thoughts. 

In  the  case  where  the  dreamer  finds  occasion  in  telling  the 
dream  to  use  either — or :  "It  was  either  a  garden  or  a  living- 
room,"  &c,  it  is  not  really  an  alternative  which  occurs  in  the 
dream  thoughts,  but  an  "  and,"  a  simple  addition.  When  we 
use  either — or  we  are  usually  describing  a  characteristic  of 
indistinctness  belonging  to  an  element  of  the  dream  which  is 
still  capable  of  being  cleared  up.  The  rule  of  interpretation 
for  this  case  is  as  follows  :  The  separate  members  of  the 
alternative  are  to  be  treated  as  equals  and  connected  by 
"  and."  For  instance,  after  waiting  for  a  long  time  in  vain 
for  the  address  of  my  friend  who  is  living  in  Italy,  I  dream 
that  I  receive  a  telegram  which  tells  me  this  address.  Upon 
the  strip  of  telegraph  paper  I  see  printed  in  blue  the  following  ; 
the  first  word  is  blurred  : 

perhaps  via, 

or  villa,  the  second  is  distinctly  :  Sezerno  or  perhaps  (Casa). 


The  second  word,  which  sounds  like  an  Italian  name  and 
which  reminds  me  of  our  etymological  discussions,  also  ex- 
presses my  displeasure  on  account  of  the  fact  that  my  friend 
has  kept  his  place  of  residence  secret  from  me  for  so  long  a 
time  ;  every  member  of  the  triple  suggestion  for  the  first  word 
may  be  recognised  in  the  course  of  analysis  as  a  self-sufficient 
and  equally  well-justified  starting  point  in  the  concatenation 
of  ideas. 

During  the  night  before  the  funeral  of  my  father  I  dreamed 
of  a  printed  placard,  a  card  or  poster — perhaps  something 
like  signs  in  railway  waiting-rooms  which  announce  the  pro- 
hibition of  smoking — which  reads  either  : 

It  is  requested  to  shut  the  eyes 

It  is  requested  to  shut  an  eye 

which  I  am  in  the  habit  of  representing  in  the  following  form  : 

It  is  requested  to  shut  eye  (s). 


Each  of  the  two  variations  has  its  own  particular  meaning, 
and  leads  us  along  particular  paths  in  the  interpretation  of  the 
dream.  I  had  made  the  simplest  kind  of  funeral  arrangements, 
for  I  knew  how  the  deceased  thought  about  such  matters. 
Other  members  of  the  family,  however,  did  not  approve  of 
such  puritanic  simplicity  ;  they  thought  we  would  have  to 
be  ashamed  before  the  mourners.  Hence  one  of  the  wordings 
of  the  dream  requests  the  "  shutting  of  one  eye,"  that  is  to 
say,  that  people  should  show  consideration.  The  significance 
of  the  blurring,  which  we  describe  with  an  either — or,  may  here 
be  seen  with  particular  ease.  The  dream  activity  has  not 
succeeded  in  constructing  a  unified  but  at  the  same  time 
ambiguous  wording  for  the  dream  thoughts.  Thus  the  two 
main  trains  of  thought  are  already  distinguished  even  in  the 
dream  content. 

In  a  few  cases  the  division  of  the  dream  into  two  equal 
parts  expresses  the  alternative  which  the  dream  finds  it  so 
difficult  to  represent. 

The  attitude  of  the  dream  towards  the  category  of  anti- 
thesis and  contradiction  is  most  striking.     This  category  is 


unceremoniously  neglected;  the  word  "No"  does  not  seem 
to  exist  for  the  dream.  Antitheses  are  with  peculiar  preference 
reduced  to  unity  or  represented  as  one.  The  dream  also 
takes  the  liberty  of  representing  any  element  whatever  by  its 
desired  opposite,  so  that  it  is  at  first  impossible  to  tell  about 
any  element  capable  of  having  an  opposite,  whether  it  is  to  be 
taken  negatively  or  positively,  in  the  dream  thoughts.*  In 
one  of  the  last-mentioned  dreams,  whose  introductory  portion 
we  have  already  interpreted  ("  because  my  parentage  is  such  "), 
the  dreamer  descends  over  a  balustrade  and  holds  a  blossom- 
ing twig  in  her  hands.  Since  this  picture  suggests  to  her 
the  angel  in  paintings  of  the  Annunciation  (her  own  name  is 
Mary)  carrying  a  lily  stem  in  his  hand,  and  the  white-robed 
girls  marching  in  the  procession  on  Corpus  Christi  Day  when 
the  streets  are  decorated  with  green  bows,  the  blossoming 
twig  in  the  dream  is  very  certainly  an  allusion  to  sexual 
innocence.  But  the  twig  is  thickly  studded  with  red  blossoms, 
each  one  of  which  resembles  a  camelia.  At  the  end  of  her 
walk,  so  the  dream  continues,  the  blossoms  have  already 
fallen  considerably  apart ;  then  unmistakable  allusions  to 
menstruation  follow.  But  this  very  twig  which  is  carried 
like  a  lily  and  as  though  by  an  innocent  girl,  is  also  an  allusion 
to  Camille,  who,  as  is  known,  always  wore  a  white  camelia, 
but  a  red  one  at  the  time  of  her  menstruation.  The  same 
blossoming  twig  ("  the  flower  of  maidenhood  "  in  the  songs 
about  the  miller's  daughter  by  Goethe)  represents  at  once 
sexual  innocence  and  its  opposite.  The  same  dream,  also, 
which  expresses  the  dreamer's  joy  at  having  succeeded  in 
passing  through  life  unsullied,  hints  in  several  places  (as  at 
the  falling-off  of  the  blossom),  at  the  opposite  train  of  thought 
— namely,  that  she  had  been  guilty  of  various  sins  against 
sexual  purity  (that  is  in  her  childhood).     In  the  analysis  of 

*  From  a  work  of  K.  Abel,  Der  Gegensinn  der  Urworte,  1884  (see  my 
review  of  it  in  the  Bleuler-Freud  Jahrbuch,  IL,  1910),  I  learned  with  surprise 
a  fact  which  is  confirmed  by  other  philologists,  that  the  oldest  languages 
behaved  in  this  regard  quite  like  the  dream.  They  originally  had  only  one 
word  for  both  extremes  in  a  series  of  qualities  or  activities  (strong — weak, 
old — young,  far — near,  to  tie — to  separate),  and  formed  separate  designa- 
tions for  the  two  extremes  only  secondarily  through  slight  modifications  of 
the  common  primitive  word.  Abel  demonstrated  these  relationships  with 
rare  exception«  in  the  old  Egyptian,  and  he  was  able  to  show  distinct 
remnants  of  the  same  development  in  the  Semitic  and  Indo-Germanic 


the  dream  we  may  clearly  distinguish  the  two  trains  of  thought, 
of  which  the  comforting  one  seems  to  be  superficial,  the  re- 
proachful one  more  profound.  The  two  are  diametrically 
opposed  to  each  other,  and  their  like  but  contrasting  elements 
have  been  represented  by  the  identical  dream  elements. 

The  mechanism  of  dream  formation  is  favourable  in  the 
highest  degree  to  only  one  of  the  logical  relations.  This 
relation  is  that  of  similarity,  correspondence,  contiguity,  "  as 
though,"  which  is  capable  of  being  represented  in  the  dream 
as  no  other  can  be,  by  the  most  varied  expedients.  The  corre- 
spondences occurring  in  the  dream,  or  cases  of  "as  though," 
are  the  chief  points  of  support  for  the  formation  of  dreams, 
and  no  inconsiderable  part  of  the  dream  activity  consists  in 
creating  new  correspondences  of  this  sort  in  cases  where  those 
which  are  already  at  hand  are  prevented  by  the  censor  of 
resistance  from  getting  into  the  dream.  The  effort  towards 
condensation  shown  by  the  dream  activity  assists  in  the 
representation  of  the  relation  of  similarity. 

Similarity,  agreement,  community,  are  quite  generally  ex- 
pressed in  the  dream  by  concentration  into  a  unity,  which  is 
either  already  found  in  the  dream  material  or  is  newly  created. 
The  first  case  may  be  referred  to  as  identification,  the  second 
as  composition.  Identification  is  used  where  the  dream  is 
concerned  with  persons,  composition  where  things  are  the 
objects  of  unification  ;  but  compositions  are  also  made  from 
persons.     Localities  are  often  treated  as  persons. 

Identification  consists  in  giving  representation  in  the 
dream  content  to  only  one  of  a  number  of  persons  who  are 
connected  by  some  common  feature,  while  the  second  or  the 
other  persons  seem  to  be  suppressed  as  far  as  the  dream  is 
concerned.  This  one  representative  person  in  the  dream 
enters  into  all  the  relations  and  situations  which  belong  to 
itself  or  to  the  persons  who  are  covered  by  it.  In  cases  of 
composition,  however,  when  this  has  to  do  with  persons, 
there  are  already  present  in  the  dream  image  features  which 
are  characteristic  of,  but  not  common  to,  the  persons  in 
question,  so  that  a  new  unity,  a  composite  person,  appears  as 
the  result  of  the  union  of  these  features.  The  composition 
itself  may  be  brought  about  in  various  ways.  Either  the 
dream  person  bears  the  name  of  one  of  the  persons  to  whom 


it  refers — and  then  we  know,  in  a  manner  which  is  quite 
analogous  to  knowledge  in  waking  life,  that  this  or  that  person 
is  the  one  who  is  meant — while  the  visual  features  belong  to 
another  person  ;  or  the  dream  image  itself  is  composed  of 
visual  features  which  in  reality  are  shared  by  both.  Instead 
of  visual  features,  also,  the  part  played  by  the  second  person 
may  be  represented  by  the  mannerisms  which  are  usually 
ascribed  to  him,  the  words  which  he  usually  speaks,  or  the 
situations  in  which  he  is  usually  imagined.  In  the  latter 
method  of  characterisation  the  sharp  distinction  between 
identification  and  composition  of  persons  begins  to  disappear. 
But  it  may  also  happen  that  the  formation  of  such  a  mixed 
personality  is  unsuccessful.  The  situation  of  the  dream  is 
then  attributed  to  one  person,  and  the  other — as  a  rule  the 
more  important  one — is  introduced  as  an  inactive  and  uncon- 
cerned spectator.  The  dreamer  relates  something  like  "  My 
mother  was  also  there  "  (Stekel). 

The  common  feature  which  justifies  the  union  of  the  two 
persons — that  is  to  say,  which  is  the  occasion  for  it — may 
either  be  represented  in  the  dream  or  be  absent.  As  a  rule, 
identification  or  composition  of  persons  simply  serves  the 
purpose  of  dispensing  with  the  representation  of  this  common 
feature.  Instead  of  repeating  :  "  A  is  ill  disposed  towards 
me,  and  B  is  also,"  I  make  a  composite  person  of  A  and  B  in 
the  dream,  or  I  conceive  A  as  doing  an  unaccustomed  action 
which  usually  characterises  B.  The  dream  person  obtained 
in  this  way  appears  in  the  dream  in  some  new  connection,  and 
the  fact  that  it  signifies  both  A  and  B  justifies  me  in  inserting 
that  which  is  common  to  both — their  hostility  towards  me — 
at  the  proper  place  in  the  interpretation  of  the  dream.  In 
this  manner  I  often  achieve  a  very  extraordinary  degree  of 
condensation  of  the  dream  content ;  I  can  save  myself  the 
direct  representation  of  very  complicated  relations  belonging 
to  a  person,  if  I  can  find  a  second  person  who  has  an  equal 
claim  to  a  part  of  these  relations.  It  is  also  obvious  to  what 
extent  this  representation  by  means  of  identification  can 
circumvent  the  resisting  censor,  which  makes  the  dream 
activity  conform  to  such  harsh  conditions.  That  which 
offends  the  censor  may  lie  in  those  very  ideas  which  are  con- 
nected in  the  dream  material  with  the  one  person  ;   I  now  find 


a  second  person,  who  likewise  has  relation  to  the  objectionable 
material,  but  only  to  a  part  of  it.  The  contact  in  that  one 
point  which  offends  the  censor  now  justified  me  in  forming 
a  composite  person,  which  is  characterised  on  either  hand  by 
indifferent  features.  This  person  resulting  from  composition 
or  identification,  who  is  unobjectionable  to  the  censor,  is  now 
suited  for  incorporation  in  the  dream  content,  and  by  the 
application  of  dream  condensation  I  have  satisfied  the  demands 
of  the  dream  censor. 

In  dreams  where  a  common  feature  of  two  persons  is  repre- 
sented, this  is  usually  a  hint  to  look  for  another  concealed 
common  feature,  the  representation  of  which  is  made  im- 
possible by  the  censor.  A  displacement  of  the  common 
feature  has  here  taken  place  partly  in  order  to  facilitate  repre- 
sentation. From  the  circumstance  that  the  composite  person 
appears  to  me  with  an  indifferent  common  feature,  I  must 
infer  that  another  common  feature  which  is  by  no  means 
indifferent  exists  in  the  dream  thoughts. 

According  to  what  has  been  said,  identification  or  com- 
position of  persons  serves  various  purposes  in  the  dream  ;  in 
the  first  place,  to  represent  a  feature  common  to  the  two 
persons  ;  secondly,  to  represent  a  displaced  common  feature  ; 
and  thirdly,  even  to  give  expression  to  a  community  of  features 
that  is  merely  wished  for.  As  the  wish  for  a  community 
between  two  persons  frequently  coincides  with  the  exchanging 
of  these  persons,  this  relation  in  the  dream  is  also  expressed 
through  identification.  In  the  dream  of  Irma's  injection  I 
wish  to  exchange  this  patient  for  another — that  is  to  say,  I 
wish  the  latter  to  be  my  patient  as  the  former  has  been  ;  the 
dream  takes  account  of  this  wish  by  showing  me  a  person  who 
is  called  Irma,  but  who  is  examined  in  a  position  such  as  I 
have  had  the  opportunity  of  seeing  only  when  occupied  with 
the  other  person  in  question.  In  the  dream  about  my  uncle 
this  substitution  is  made  the  centre  of  the  dream  ;  I  identify 
myself  with  the  minister  by  judging  and  treating  my  colleague 
as  shabbily  as  he  does. 

It  has  been  my  experience — and  to  this  I  have  found  no 
exception — that  every  dream  treats  of  one's  own  person. 
Dreams  are  absolutely  egotistic.  In  cases  where  not  my  ego, 
but  only  a  strange  person  occurs  in  the  dream  content,  I  may 


safely  assume  that  iny  ego  is  concealed  behind  that  person  by 
means  of  identification.  I  am  permitted  to  supplement  my 
ego.  On  other  occasions  when  my  ego  appears  in  the  dream, 
I  am  given  to  understand  by  the  situation  in  which  it  is  placed 
that  another  person  is  concealing  himself  behind  the  ego. 
In  this  case  the  dream  is  intended  to  give  me  notice  that  in  the 
interpretation  I  must  transfer  something  which  is  connected 
with  this  person — the  hidden  common  feature — to  myself. 
There  are  also  dreams  in  which  my  ego  occurs  along  with  other 
persons  which  the  resolution  of  the  identification  again  shows 
to  be  my  ego.  By  means  of  this  identification  I  am  instructed 
to  unite  in  my  ego  certain  ideas  to  whose  acceptance  the  censor 
has  objected.  I  may  also  give  my  ego  manifold  representation 
in  the  dream,  now  directly,  now  by  means  of  identification 
with  strangers.  An  extraordinary  amount  of  thought  material 
may  be  condensed  by  means  of  a  few  such  identifications.* 

The  resolution  of  the  identification  of  localities  designated 
under  their  own  names  is  even  less  difficult  than  that  of 
persons,  because  here  the  disturbing  influence  of  the  ego, 
which  is  all-powerful  in  the  dream,  is  lacking.  In  one  of  my 
dreams  about  Rome  (p.  164)  the  name  of  the  place  in  which 
I  find  myself  is  Rome  ;  I  am  surprised,  however,  at  the  great 
number  of  German  placards  at  a  street  corner.  The  latter 
is  a  wish-fulfilment,  which  immediately  suggests  Prague  ;  the 
wish  itself  probably  originated  at  a  period  in  my  youth  when  I 
was  imbued  with  a  German  nationalistic  spirit  which  is  sup- 
pressed to-day.  At  the  time  of  my  dream  I  was  looking 
forward  to  meeting  a  friend  in  Prague  ;  the  identification  of 
Rome  and  Prague  is  thus  to  be  explained  by  means  of  a  desired 
common  feature  ;  I  would  rather  meet  my  friend  in  Rome 
than  in  Prague,  I  should  like  to  exchange  Prague  for  Rome  for 
the  purpose  of  this  meeting. 

The  possibility  of  creating  compositions  is  one  of  the  chief 

causes  of  the  phantastic  character  so  common  in  dreams,  in 

that  it  introduces  into  the  dream  elements  which  could  never 

have  been  the  objects  of  perception.     The  psychic  process 

which  occurs  in  the  formation  of  compositions  is  obviously 

*  If  I  do  not  know  behind  which  of  the  persons  which  occur  in  the 
dream  I  am  to  look  for  my  ego,  1  observe  the  following  rule :  That  person  in 
the  dream  who  is  subject  to  an  emotion  which  I  experience  while  asleep, 
is  the  one  that  conceals  my  ego. 


the  same  which  we  employ  in  conceiving  or  fashioning  a  centaur 
or  a  dragon  in  waking  life.  The  only  difference  is  that  in  the 
phantastic  creations  occurring  in  waking  life  the  intended 
impression  to  be  made  by  the  new  creation  is  itself  the 
deciding  factor,  while  the  composition  of  the  dream  is  deter- 
mined by  an  influence — the  common  feature  in  the  dream 
thoughts — which  is  independent  of  the  form  of  the  image. 
The  composition  of  the  dream  may  be  accomplished  in  a  great 
many  different  ways.  In  the  most  artless  method  of  execu- 
tion the  properties  of  the  one  thing  are  represented,  and  this 
representation  is  accompanied  by  the  knowledge  that  they 
also  belong  to  another  object.  A  more  careful  technique 
unites  the  features  of  one  object  with  those  of  the  other  in 
a  new  image,  while  it  makes  skilful  use  of  resemblance 
between  the  two  objects  which  exist  in  reality.  The  new 
creation  may  turn  out  altogether  absurd  or  only  phantasti- 
cally  ingenious,  according  to  the  subject-matter  and  the  wit 
operative  in  the  work  of  composition.  If  the  objects  to  be 
condensed  into  a  unity  are  too  incongruous,  the  dream  activity 
is  content  with  creating  a  composition  with  a  comparatively 
distinct  nucleus,  to  which  are  attached  less  distinct  modifica- 
tions. The  unification  into  one  image  has  here  been  unsuccess- 
ful, as  it  were  ;  the  two  representations  overlap  and  give  rise  to 
something  like  a  contest  between  visual  images.  If  attempt 
were  made  to  construct  an  idea  out  of  individual  images  of 
perception,  similar  representations  might  be  obtained  in  a 

Dreams  naturally  abound  in  such  compositions  ;  several 
examples  of  these  I  have  given  in  the  dreams  already  analysed  ; 
I  shall  add  more.  In  the  dream  on  p.  296,  which  describes 
the  career  of  my  patient  "  in  flowery  language,"  the  dream 
ego  carries  a  blossoming  twig  in  her  hand,  which,  as  we  have 
seen,  signifies  at  once  innocence  and  sexual  transgression. 
Moreover,  the  twig  recalls  cherry-blossoms  on  account  of 
the  manner  in  which  the  blossoms  are  clustered  ;  the  blossoms 
themselves,  separately  considered,  are  camelias,  and  finally  the 
whole  thing  also  gives  the  impression  of  an  exotic  plant.  The 
common  feature  in  the  elements  of  this  composition  is  shown 
by  the  dream  thoughts.  The  blossoming  twig  is  made  up  of 
allusions  to  presents  by  which  she  was  induced  or  should  have 


been  induced  to  show  herself  agreeable.  So  it  was  with  the 
cherries  in  her  childhood  and  with  the  stem  of  camelias  in 
her  later  years  ;  the  exotic  feature  is  an  illusion  to  a  much- 
travelled  naturalist,  who  sought  to  win  her  favour  by  means 
of  a  drawing  of  a  flower.  Another  female  patient  creates  a 
middle  element  out  of  bath-houses  at  a  bathing  resort,  rural 
outside  water-closets,  and  the  garrets  of  our  city  dwellings. 
The  reference  to  human  nakedness  and  exposure  is  common 
to  the  two  first  elements  ;  and  we  may  infer  from  their  con- 
nection with  the  third  element  that  (in  her  childhood)  the 
garret  was  likewise  the  scene  of  exposure.  A  dreamer  of  the 
male  sex  makes  a  composite  locality  out  of  two  places  in 
which  "  treatment  "  is  given — my  office  and  the  public  hall 
in  which  he  first  became  acquainted  with  his  wife.  Another 
female  patient,  after  her  elder  brother  has  promised  to  regale 
her  with  caviare,  dreams  that  his  legs  are  covered  thick  with 
black  caviare  pearls.  The  two  elements,  "  contagion "  in 
a  moral  sense  and  the  recollection  of  a  cutaneous  eruption 
in  childhood  which  made  her  legs  look  as  though  studded 
over  with  red  dots  instead  of  black  ones,  have  here  been  united 
with  the  caviare  pearls  to  form  a  new  idea — the  idea  of  "  what 
she  has  inherited  from  her  brother."  In  this  dream  parts  of 
the  human  body  are  treated  as  objects,  as  is  usually  the  case 
in  dreams.  In  one  of  the  dreams  reported  by  Ferenczi 87 
there  occurred  a  composition  made  up  of  the  person  of  a 
physician  and  a  horse,  over  which  was  spread  a  nightshirt. 
The  common  feature  in  these  three  components  was  shown 
in  the  analysis  after  the  nightshirt  had  been  recognised  as  an 
allusion  to  the  father  of  the  dreamer  in  an  infantile  scene. 
In  each  of  the  three  cases  there  was  some  object  of  her  sexual 
inquisitiveness.  As  a  child  she  had  often  been  taken  by  her 
nurse  to  the  military  breeding  station,  where  she  had  the 
amplest  opportunity  to  satisfy  her  curiosity,  which  was  at  that 
time  uninhibited. 

I  have  already  asserted  that  the  dream  has  no  means  for 
expressing  the  relation  of  contradiction,  of  contrast,  of  nega- 
tion. I  am  about  to  contradict  this  assertion  for  the  first 
time.  A  part  of  the  cases,  which  may  be  summed  up  under  the 
word  "  contrast,"  finds  representation,  as  we  have  seen,  simply 
by  means  of  identification — that  is,  when  an  interchange  or 


replacement  can  be  connected  with  the  contrast.     We  have 
given  repeated  examples  of  this.     Another  part  of  the  con- 
trasts in  the  dream  thoughts,  which  perhaps  falls  into  the 
category  "  turned  into  the  opposite,"  is  represented  in  the  dream 
in  the  following  remarkable  manner,  which  may  almost  be 
designated  as  witty.      The    "  inversion "   does  not  itself   get 
into  the  dream  content,  but  manifests  its  presence  there  by 
means  of  the  fact  that  a  part  of  the  already  formed  dream 
content  which  lies  at  hand  for  other  reasons,  is — as  it  were 
subsequently — inverted.     It  is  easier  to  illustrate  this  process 
than    to    describe   it.     In    the    beautiful    "  Up    and    Down " 
dream  (p.  267)  the  representation  of  ascending  is  an  inversion 
of  a  prototype  in  the  dream  thoughts,  that  is  to  say,  of  the 
introductory  scene  of  Daudet's  Sappho  ;   in  the  dream  climb- 
ing is  difficult  at  first,  and  easy  later  on,  while  in  the  actual 
scene  it  is  easy  at  first,  and  later  becomes  more  and  more 
difficult.     Likewise    "  above "    and    "  below "    in   relation   to 
the  dreamer's  brother  are  inverted  in  the  dream.     This  points 
to  a  relation  of  contraries  or  contrasts  as  obtaining  between 
two  parts  of  the  subject-matter  of  the  dream  thoughts  and 
the  relation  we  have  found  in  the  fact  that  in  the  childish 
fancy  of  the  dreamer  he  is  carried  by  his  nurse,  while  in  the 
novel,   on   the   contrary,   the  hero    carries   his   beloved.     My 
dream  about  Goethe's  attack  upon  Mr.  M.  (p.  345)  also  contains 
an  "  inversion  "    of  this  sort,    which  must  first  be  set  right 
before  the  interpretation  of  the  dream  can  be  accomplished. 
In  the  dream  Goethe  attacks  a  young  man,  Mr.  M. ;  in  reality, 
according  to  the  dream  thoughts,  an  eminent  man,  my  friend, 
has   been   attacked  by  an  unknown   young   author.     In   the 
dream  I  reckon  time   from   the  date  of  Goethe's  death  ;    in 
reality  the  reckoning  was  made  from  the  year  in  which  the 
paralytic    was    born.     The    thought  determining    the    dream 
material  is  shown  to  be  an  objection  to  the  treatment  of  Goethe 
as  a  lunatic.     "  The  other  way  around,"  says  the  dream  ;    "if 
you  cannot  understand  the  book,  it  is  you  who  are  dull-witted, 
not  the  author."     Furthermore,  all  these  dreams  of  inversion 
seem   to   contain   a   reference   to   the   contemptuous   phrase, 
"  to  turn  one's  back  upon  a  person  "  (German  :    "  einen  die 
Kehrseite  zeigen  "  ;  cf.  the  inversion  in  respect  to  the  dreamer's 
brother  in   the  Sappho  dream).     It  is   also   remarkable  how 


frequently  inversion  becomes  necessary  in  dreams  which  are 
inspired  by  repressed  homosexual  feelings. 

Moreover,  inversion  or  transformation  into  an  opposite 
is  one  of  the  favourite  methods  of  representation,  and  one  of 
the  methods  most  capable  of  varied  application  which  the 
dream  activity  possesses.  Its  first  function  is  to  create  the 
fulfilment  of  a  wish  with  reference  to  a  definite  element  of 
the  dream-thoughts.  "  If  it  were  only  just  the  other  way  !  " 
is  often  the  best  expression  of  the  relation  of  the  ego  to  a  dis- 
agreeable recollection.  But  inversion  becomes  extraordinarily 
useful  for  the  purposes  of  the  censor,  for  it  brings  about 
in  the  material  represented  a  degree  of  disfiguration  which  all 
but  paralyses  our  understanding  of  the  dream.  For  this 
reason  it  is  always  permissible,  in  cases  where  the  dream 
stubbornly  refuses  to  yield  its  meaning,  to  try  the  inversion 
of  definite  portions  of  its  manifest  content,  whereupon  not 
infrequently  everything  becomes  clear. 

Besides  this  inversion,  the  subject-matter  inversion  in 
temporal  relation  is  not  to  be  overlooked.  A  frequent  device 
of  dream  disfigurement  consists  in  presenting  the  final  issue 
of  an  occurrence  or  the  conclusion  of  an  argument  at  the 
beginning  of  the  dream,  or  in  supplying  the  premises  of  a 
conclusion  or  the  causes  of  an  effect  at  the  end  of  it.  Any- 
one who  has  not  considered  this  technical  method  of  dream 
disfigurement  stands  helpless  before  the  problem  of  dream 
interpretation.  * 

Indeed  in  some  cases  we  can  obtain  the  sense  of  the  dream 
only  by  subjecting  the  dream  content  to  manifold  inversion 
in  different  directions.  For  example,  in  the  dream  of  a  young 
patient  suffering  from  a  compulsion  neurosis,  the  memory  of  an 
infantile  death-wish  against  a  dreaded  father  was  hidden  behind 

*  The  hysterical  attack  sometimes  uses  the  same  device — the  inversion  of 
time-relations — for  the  purpose  of  concealing  its  meaning  from  the  spectator. 
The  attack  of  a  hysterical  girl,  for  example,  consists  in  enacting  a  little 
romance,  which  she  has  unconsciously  fancied  in  connection  with  an  en- 
counter in  the  street  car.  A  man,  attracted  by  the  beauty  of  her  foot,  addresses 
her  while  she  is  reading,  whereupon  she  goes  with  him  and  experiences  a 
stormy  love  scene.  Her  attack  begins  with  the  representation  of  this  scene 
in  writhing  movements  of  the  body  (accompanied  by  motions  of  the  lijjs  to 
signify  kissing,  entwining  of  the  arms  for  embraces),  whereupon  she  hurries 
into  another  room,  sits  down  in  a  chair,  lifts  her  skirt  in  order  to  show  her 
foot,  acts  as  though  she  were  about  to  read  a  book,  and  speaks  to  me 
(answers  me). 


the  following  words  :  His  father  upbraids  him  because  he  arrives 
so  late.  But  the  context  in  the  psychoanalytic  treatment 
and.  the  thoughts  of  the  dreamer  alike  go  to  show  that  the 
sentence  must  read  as  follows  :  He  is  angry  at  his  father, 
and,  further,  that  his  father  is  always  coming  home  too  early 
(i.e.  too  soon).  He  would  have  preferred  that  his  father  should 
not  come  home  at  all,  which  is  identical  with  the  wish  (see  page 
219)  that  his  father  should  die.  As  a  little  boy  the  dreamer 
was  guilty  of  sexual  aggression  against  another  person  while 
his  father  was  away,  and  he  was  threatened  with  punishment 
in  the  words  :    "  Just  wait  until  father  comes  home." 

If  we  attempt  to  trace  the  relations  between  dream  content 
and  dream  thoughts  further,  we  shall  do  this  best  by  making 
the  dream  itself  our  starting-point  and  by  asking  ourselves 
the  question  :  What  do  certain  formal  characteristics  of  dream 
representation  signify  with  reference  to  the  dream  thoughts  % 
The  formal  characteristics  which  must  attract  our  attention 
in  the  dream  primarily  include  variations  in  the  distinctness 
of  individual  parts  of  the  dream  or  of  whole  dreams  in  relation 
to  one  another.  The  variations  in  the  intensity  of  individual 
dream  images  include  a  whole  scale  of  degrees  ranging  from 
a  distinctness  of  depiction  which  one  is  inclined  to  rate  as 
higher — without  warrant,  to  be  sure — than  that  of  reality,  to 
a  provoking  indistinctness  which  is  declared  to  be  character- 
istic of  the  dream,  because  it  cannot  altogether  be  compared 
to  any  degree  of  indistinctness  which  we  ever  see  in  real  objects. 
Moreover,  we  usually  designate  the  impression  which  we 
get  from  an  indistinct  object  in  the  dream  as  "  fleeting," 
while  we  think  of  the  more  distinct  dream  images  as  remain- 
ing intact  for  a  longer  period  of  perception.  We  must  now 
ask  ourselves  by  what  conditions  in  the  dream  material  these 
differences  in  the  vividness  of  the  different  parts  of  the  dream 
content  are  brought  about. 

There  are  certain  expectations  which  will  inevitably  arise 
at  this  point  and  which  must  be  met.  Owing  to  the  fact  that 
real  sensations  during  sleep  may  form  part  of  the  material 
of  the  dream,  it  will  probably  be  assumed  that  these  sensations 
or  the  dream  elements  resulting  from  them  are  emphasized 
by  peculiar  intensity,  or  conversely,  that  what  turns  out  to  be 



particularly  vivid  in  the  dream  is  probably  traceable  to  such 
real  sensations  during  sleep.  My  experience  has  never  con- 
firmed this.  It  is  incorrect  to  say  that  those  elements  of  the 
dream  which  are  the  derivatives  of  impressions  occurring  in 
sleep  (nervous  excitements)  are  distinguished  by  their  vivid- 
ness from  others  which  are  based  on  recollections.  The  factor 
of  reality  is  of  no  account  in  determining  the  intensity  of 
dream  images. 

Furthermore,  the  expectation  will  be  cherished  that  the 
sensory  intensity  (vividness)  of  individual  dream  images  has 
a  relation  to  the  psychic  intensity  of  the  elements  correspond- 
ing to  them  in  the  dream-thoughts.  In  the  latter  intensity 
is  identical  with  psychic  value  ;  the  most  intense  elements 
are  in  fact  the  most  significant,  and  these  are  the  central 
point  of  the  dream.  We  know,  however,  that  it  is  just  these 
elements  which  are  usually  not  accepted  in  the  dream  content 
owing  to  the  censor.  But  still  it  might  be  possible  that  the 
elements  immediately  following  these  and  representing  them 
might  show  a  higher  degree  of  intensity,  without,  however, 
for  that  reason  constituting  the  centre  of  the  dream  represen- 
tation. This  expectation  is  also  destroyed  by  a  comparison 
of  the  dream  and  the  dream  material.  The  intensity  of  the 
elements  in  the  one  has  nothing  to  do  with  the  intensity  of 
the  elements  in  the  other  ;  a  complete  "  transvaluation  of 
all  psychic  values  "  takes  place  between  the  dream-material 
and  the  dream.  The  very  element  which  is  transient  and  hazy 
and  which  is  pushed  into  the  background  by  more  vigorous 
images  is  often  the  single  and  only  element  in  which  may  be 
traced  any  direct  derivative  from  the  subject  which  entirely 
dominated  the  dream-thoughts. 

The  intensity  of  the  elements  of  the  dream  shows  itself 
to  be  determined  in  a  different  manner — that  is,  by  two  factors 
which  are  independent  of  each  other.  It  is  easy  to  see  at 
the  outset  that  those  elements  by  means  of  which  the  wish- 
fulfilment  is  expressed  are  most  distinctly  represented.  But 
then  analysis  also  teaches  us  that  from  the  most  vivid  elements 
of  the  dream,  the  greatest  number  of  trains  of  thought  start, 
and  that  the  most  vivid  are  at  the  same  time  those  which  are 
best  determined.  No  change  of  sense  is  involved  if  we  express 
the  latter  empirical  thesis  in  the  following  form  :   the  greatest 


intensity  is  shown  by  those  elements  of  the  dream  for  which 
the  most  abundant  condensation  activity  was  required.  We 
may  therefore  expect  that  this  condition  and  the  others  im- 
posed by  the  wish-fulfilment  can  be  expressed  in  a  single 

The  problem  which  I  have  just  been  considering — the 
causes  of  greater  or  less  intensity  or  distinctness  of  individual 
elements  of  the  dream — is  one  which  I  should  like  to  guard 
against  being  confused  with  another  problem,  which  has  to 
do  with  the  varying  distinctness  of  whole  dreams  or  sections 
of  dreams.  In  the  first  case,  the  opposite  of  distinctness  is 
blurredness  ;  in  the  second,  confusion.  It  is  of  course  unmis- 
takable that  the  intensities  rise  and  fall  in  the  two  scales  in 
unison.  A  portion  of  the  dream  which  seems  clear  to  us 
usually  contains  vivid  elements  ;  an  obscure  dream  is  com- 
posed of  less  intense  elements.  But  the  problem  with  which 
we  are  confronted  by  the  scale,  ranging  from  the  apparently 
clear  to  the  indistinct  or  confused,  is  far  more  complicated 
than  that  formed  by  variations  in  the  vividness  of  the  dream 
elements  ;  indeed  the  former  will  be  dropped  from  the  dis- 
cussion for  reasons  which  will  be  given  later.  In  isolated 
cases  we  are  astonished  to  find  that  the  impression  of  clear- 
ness or  indistinctness  produced  by  the  dream  is  altogether 
without  significance  for  its  structure,  and  that  it  originates 
in  the  dream  material  as  one  of  its  constituents.  Thus  I 
remember  a  dream  which  seemed  particularly  well  constructed, 
flawless,  and  clear,  so  that  I  made  up  my  mind,  while  I  was 
still  in  the  somnolent  state,  to  recognise  a  new  class  of  dreams 
— those  which  had  not  been  subject  to  the  mechanism  of  con- 
densation and  displacement,  and  which  might  thus  be  desig- 
nated "  Fancies  while  asleep."  A  closer  examination  proved 
that  tins  rare  dream  had  the  same  breaches  and  flaws  in  its 
construction  as  every  other  ;  for  this  reason  I  abandoned  the 
category  of  dream  fancies.  The  content  of  the  dream,  re- 
duced to  its  lowest  terms,  was  that  I  was  reciting  to  a  friend  a 
difficult  and  long-sought  theory  of  bisexuality,  and  the  wish- 
fulfilling  power  of  the  dream  was  responsible  for  the  fact 
that  this  theory  (which,  by  the  way,  was  not  stated  in  the 
dream)  appeared  so  clear  and  flawless.  What  I  considered 
a  judgment  upon  the  finished  dream  was  thus  a  part  of  the 


dream  content,  and  the  essential  one  at  that.  The  dream 
activity  had  extended  its  operations,  as  it  were,  into  waking 
thought,  and  had  presented  to  me  in  the  form  of  a  judgment 
that  part  of  the  dream  material  which  it  had  not  succeeded 
in  reproducing  with  exactness.  The  exact  opposite  of  this 
once  came  to  my  attention  in  the  case  of  a  female  patient 
who  was  at  first  altogether  unwilling  to  tell  a  dream  which  was 
necessary  for  the  analysis,  "  because  it  was  so  obscure  and 
confused,"  and  who  declared,  after  repeatedly  denying  the 
accuracy  of  her  description,  that  several  persons,  herself, 
her  husband,  and  her  father,  had  occurred  in  the  dream,  and 
that  it  seemed  as  though  she  did  not  know  whether  her 
husband  was  her  father,  or  who  her  father  was  anyway,  or 
something  of  that  sort.  Upon  considering  this  dream  in 
connection  with  the  ideas  that  occurred  to  the  dreamer  in  the 
course  of  the  sitting,  it  was  found  unquestionably  to  be  concerned 
with  the  story  of  a  servant  girl  who  had  to  confess  that  she  was 
expecting  a  child,  and  who  was  now  confronted  with  doubts 
as  to  "  who  was  really  the  father."  *  The  obscurity  mani- 
fested by  the  dream,  therefore,  is  again  in  this  case  a  portion 
of  the  material  which  excited  it.  A  part  of  this  material 
was  represented  in  the  form  of  the  dream.  The  form  of  the 
dream  or  of  dreaming  is  used  with  astonishing  frequency  to 
represent  the  concealed  content. 

Comments  on  the  dream  and  seemingly  harmless  observa- 
tions about  it  often  serve  in  the  most  subtle  manner  to  conceal 
— although  they  usually  betray — a  part  of  what  is  dreamed. 
Thus,  for  example,  when  the  dreamer  says  :  Here  the  dream 
is  vague,  and  the  analysis  gives  an  infantile  reminiscence  of 
listening  to  a  person  cleaning  himself  after  defecation.  An- 
other example  deserves  to  be  recorded  in  detail.  A  young 
man  has  a  very  distinct  dream  which  recalls  to  him  phan- 
tasies from  his  infancy  which  have  remained  conscious  to 
him  :  he  was  in  a  summer  hotel  one  evening,  he  mistook  the 
number  of  his  room,  and  entered  a  room  in  which  an  elderly 
lady  and  her  two  daughters  were  undressing  to  go  to  bed. 
He  continues  :  "  Then  there  are  some  gays  in  the  dream ;  then 
something  is  missing ;   and  at  the  end  there  was  a  man  in  the 

*  Accompanying  hysterical  symptoms:  Failure  to  menstruate  and  pro- 
found depression,  which  was  the  chief  ailment  of  the  patient. 


room  who  wished  to  throw  me  out  with  whom  I  had  to  wrestle." 
He  endeavoured  in  vain  to  recall  the  content  and  purpose 
of  the  boyish  fancj^  to  which  the  dream  apparently  alludes. 
But  we  finally  become  aware  that  the  required  content  had 
already  been  given  in  his  utterances  concerning  the  indistinct 
part  of  the  dream.  The  "  gaps  "  were  the  openings  in  the 
genitals  of  the  women  who  were  retiring  :  "  Here  something 
is  missing  "  described  the  chief  character  of  the  female  genitals. 
In  those  early  years  he  burned  with  curiosity  to  see  a  female 
genital,  and  was  still  inclined  to  adhere  to  the  infantile  sexual 
theory  which  attributes  a  male  genital  to  the  woman. 

All  the  dreams  which  have  been  dreamed  in  the  same 
night  belong  to  the  same  whole  when  considered  with  respect 
to  their  content ;  their  separation  into  several  portions,  their 
grouping  and  number,  all  these  details  are  full  of  meaning, 
and  may  be  considered  as  information  coming  from  the  latent 
dream  content.  In  the  interpretation  of  dreams  consisting 
of  many  principal  sections,  or  of  dreams  belonging  to  the 
same  night,  one  must  not  fail  to  think  of  the  possibility  that 
these  different  and  succeeding  dreams  bring  to  expression  the 
same  feelings  in  different  material.  The  one  that  comes 
first  in  time  of  these  homologous  dreams  is  usually  the  most 
disfigured  and  most  bashful,  while  the  succeeding  is  bolder 
and  more  distinct. 

Even  Pharaoh's  dream  in  the  Bible  of  the  ears  and  the 
kine,  which  Joseph  interpreted,  was  of  this  kind.  It  is  reported 
by  Josephus  (Antiquities  of  the  Jews,  bk.  ii.  chap,  iii.)  in  greater 
detail  than  in  the  Bible.  After  relating  the  first  dream,  the 
King  said  :  "  When  I  had  seen  this  vision  I  awaked  out  of  my 
sleep,  and  being  in  disorder,  and  considering  with  myself 
what  this  appearance  should  be,  I  fell  asleep  again,  and  saw 
another  dream  much  more  wonderful  than  the  first,  which 
did  still  more  affright  and  disturb  me."  After  listening  to 
the  report  of  the  dream,  Joseph  said,  "  This  dream,  0  King, 
although  seen  under  two  forms,  signifies  one  and  the  same 
issue  of  things." 

Jung,"  who,  in  his  Beitrag  zur  Psychologie  des  Gerüchtes 
relates  how  the  veiled  erotic  dream  of  a  school-girl  was  under- 
stood by  her  friends  without  interpretation  and  continued 
by  them  with  variations,  remarks  in  connection  with  reports 


of  this  dream,  "  that  the  last  of  a  long  series  of  dream  pictures 
contained  precisely  the  same  thought  whose  representation 
had  been  attempted  in  the  first  picture  of  the  series.  The 
censor  pushed  the  complex  out  of  the  way  as  long  as  possible, 
through  constantly  renewed  symbolic  concealments,  dis- 
placements, deviations  into  the  harmless,  &c."  (I.e.  p.  87). 
Schemer  58  was  we]l  acquainted  with  the  peculiarities  of  dream 
disfigurement  and  describes  them  at  the  end  of  his  theory 
of  organic  stimulation  as  a  special  law,  p.  166  :  "  But,  finally, 
the  phantasy  observes  the  general  law  in  all  nerve  stimuli 
emanating  from  symbolic  dream  formations,  by  representing 
at  the  beginning  of  the  dream  only  the  remotest  and  freest 
allusions  to  the  stimulating  object ;  but  towards  the  end, 
when  the  power  of  representation  becomes  exhausted,  it  pre- 
sents the  stimulus  or  its  concerned  organ  or  its  function  in 
unconcealed  form,  and  in  the  way  this  dream  designates  its 
organic  motive  and  reaches  its  end." 

A  new  confirmation  of  Schemer's  law  has  been  furnished 
by  Otto  Rank  106  in  his  work,  A  Self  Interpretation  Dream. 
This  dream  of  a  girl  reported  by  him  consisted  of  two  dreams, 
separated  in  time  of  the  same  night,  the  second  of  which  ended 
with  pollution.  This  pollution  dream  could  be  interpreted 
in  all  its  details  by  disregarding  a  great  many  of  the  ideas 
contributed  by  the  dreamer,  and  the  profuse  relations  be- 
tween the  two  dream  contents  indicated  that  the  first  dream 
expressed  in  bashful  language  the  same  thing  as  the  second, 
so  that  the  latter — the  •  pollution  dream — helped  to  a  full 
explanation  of  the  former.  From  this  example,  Rank,  with 
perfect  justice,  draws  conclusions  concerning  the  significance 
of  pollution  dreams  in  general. 

But  in  my  experience  it  is  only  in  rare  cases  that  one  is 
in  a  position  to  interpret  clearness  or  confusion  in  the  dream 
as  certainty  or  doubt  in  the  dream  material.  Later  I  shall 
try  to  discover  the  factor  in  the  formation  of  dreams  upon 
whose  influence  this  scale  of  qualities  essentially  depends. 

In  some  dreams,  which  adhere  for  a  time  to  a  certain 
situation  and  scenery,  there  occur  interruptions  dsecribed 
in  the  following  words  :  "  But  then  it  seemed  as  though  it 
were  at  the  same  time  another  place,  and  there  such  and  such 
a  thing   happened."     What  thus  interrupts  the  main   trend 


of  the  dream,  which  after  a  while  may  be  continued  again, 
turns  out  to  be  a  subordinate  idea,  an  interpolated  thought 
in  the  dream  material.  A  conditional  relation  in  the  dream- 
thoughts  is  represented  by  simultaneousness  in  the  dream 
(wenn — wann  ;  if — when). 

What  is  signified  by  the  sensation  of  impeded  movement, 
which  so  often  occurs  in  the  dream,  and  which  is  so  closely 
allied  to  anxiety  ?  One  wants  to  move,  and  is  unable  to  stir 
from  the  spot ;  or  one  wants  to  accomplish  something,  and  meets 
one  obstacle  after  another.  The  train  is  about  fco  start,  and 
one  cannot  reach  it ;  one's  hand  is  raised  to  avenge  an  insult, 
and  its  strength  fails,  &c.  We  have  already  encountered 
this  sensation  in  exhibition  dreams,  but  have  as  yet  made  no 
serious  attempt  to  interpret  it.  It  is  convenient,  but  inade- 
quate, to  answer  that  there  is  motor  paralysis  in  sleep,  which 
manifests  itself  by  means  of  the  sensation  alluded  to.  We 
may  ask  :  "  Why  is  it,  then,  that  we  do  not  dream  continually 
of  these  impeded  motions  ?  "  And  we  are  justified  in  suppos- 
ing that  this  sensation,  constantly  appearing  in  sleep,  serves 
some  purpose  or  other  in  representation,  and  is  brought  about 
by  a  need  occurring  in  the  dream  material  for  this  sort  of 

Failure  to  accomplish  does  not  always  appear  in  the  dream 
as  a  sensation,  but  also  simply  as  a  parfc  of  the  dream  content. 
I  believe  that  a  case  of  this  sort  is  particularly  well  suited  to 
enlighten  us  about  the  significance  of  this  characteristic  of 
the  dream.  I  shall  give  an  abridged  report  of  a  dream  in 
which  I  seem  to  be  accused  of  dishonesty.  The  scene  is  a 
mixture,  consisting  of  a  'private  sanatorium  and  several  other 
buildings.  A  lackey  appears  to  call  me  to  an  examination.  I 
know  in  the  dream  that  something  has  been  missed,  and  that  the 
examination  is  taking  place  because  I  am  suspected  of  having 
appropriated  the  lost  article.  Analysis  shows  that  examination 
is  to  be  taken  in  two  senses,  and  also  yneans  medical  examination. 
Being  conscious  of  my  innocence,  and  of  the  fact  that  I  have  been 
called  in  for  consultation,  I  calmly  follow  the  lackey.  We  are 
received  at  the  door  by  another  lackey,  who  says,  pointing  to  me, 
"  Is  that  the  person  whom  you  have  brought  ?  Why,  he  is  a 
respectable  man."  Thereupon,  without  any  lackey,  I  enter  a 
great  hall  in  which  machines  are  sta,nding,  and  which  reminds  me 


of  an  Inferno  with  its  hellish  modes  of  punishment.  I  see  a 
colleague  strapped  on  to  one  apparatus  who  has  every  reason  to 
be  concerned  about  me ;  but  he  takes  no  notice  of  me.  Then  I 
am  given  to  understand  that  I  may  now  go.  Then  I  cannot  find 
my  hat,  and  cannot  go  after  all. 

The  wish  which  the  dream  fulfils  is  obviously  that  I  may 
be  acknowledged  to  be  an  honest  man,  and  may  go  ;  all  kinds 
of  subject-matter  containing  a  contradiction  of  this  idea  must 
therefore  be  present  in  the  dream-thoughts.  The  fact  that  I 
may  go  is  the  sign  of  my  absolution  ;  if,  then,  the  dream 
furnishes  at  its  close  an  event  which  prevents  me  from  going, 
we  may  readily  conclude  that  the  suppressed  subject-matter 
of  the  contradiction  asserts  itself  in  this  feature.  The  cir- 
cumstance that  I  cannot  find  my  hat  therefore  means  :  "  You 
are  not  an  honest  man  after  all."  Failure  to  accomplish  in 
the  dream  is  the  expression  of  a  contradiction,  a  "  No  "  ; 
and  therefore  the  earlier  assertion,  to  the  effect  that  the 
dream  is  not  capable  of  expressing  a  negation,  must  be  revised 

In  other  dreams  which  involve  failure  to  accomplish  a 
thing  not  only  as  a  situation  but  also  as  a  sensation,  the  same 
contradiction  is  more  emphatically  expressed  in  the  form  of 
a  volition,  to  which  a  counter  volition  opposes  itself.  Thus 
the  sensation  of  impeded  motion  represents  a  conflict  of  will. 
We  shall  hear  later  that  this  very  motor  paralysis  belongs 
to  the  fundamental  conditions  of  the  psychic  process  in  dream- 
ing. Now  the  impulse  which  is  transferred  to  motor  channels 
is  nothing  else  than  the  will,  and  the  fact  that  we  are  sure  to 
find  this  impulse  impeded  in  the  dream  makes  the  whole  process 
extraordinarily  well  suited  to  represent  volition  and  the  "  No  " 
which  opposes  itself  thereto.     From  my  explanation  of  anxiety, 

*  A  reference  to  a  childhood  experience  is  after  complete  analysis  shown 
to  exist  by  the  following  intermediaries  :  "  The  Moor  has  done  his  duty, 
the  Moor  may  go."  And  then  follows  the  waggish  question:  "How  old  is 
the  Moor  when  he  has  done  his  duty  ?  One  year.  Then  he  may  go."  (It 
is  said  that  1  came  into  the  world  with  so  much  black  curly  hair  that  my 
young  mother  declared  me  to  be  a  Moor.)  The  circumstance  that  I  do  not 
find  my  hat  is  an  experience  of  the  day  which  has  been  turned  to  account 
with  various  significations.  Our  servant,  who  is  a  genius  at  stowing  away 
things,  had  hidden  the  hat.  A  suppression  of  sad  thoughts  about  death  is 
also  concealed  behind  the  conclusion  of  the  dream  :  "  I  have  not  nearly  done 
my  duty  yet  ;  I  may  not  go  yet."  Birth  and  death,  as  in  the  dream  that 
occurred  shortly  before  about  Goethe  and  the  paralytic  (p.  345). 


it  is  easy  to  understand,  why  the  sensation  of  thwarted  will 
is  so  closely  allied  to  anxiety,  and  why  it  is  so  often  connected 
with  it  in  the  dream.  Anxiety  is  a  libidinous  impulse  which 
emanates  from  the  unconscious,  and  is  inhibited  by  the  fore- 
conscious.  Therefore,  when  a  sensation  of  inhibition  in  the 
dream  is  accompanied  by  anxiety,  there  must  also  be  present 
a  volition  which  has  at  one  time  been  capable  of  arousing 
a  libido  ;  there  must  be  a  sexual  impulse. 

What  significance  and  what  psychic  force  is  to  be  ascribed 
to  such  manifestations  of  judgment  as  "  For  that  is  only  a 
dream,"  which  frequently  comes  to  the  surface  in  dreams,  I 
shall  discuss  in  another  place  {vide  infra,  p.  390).  For  the 
present  I  shall  merely  say  that  they  serve  to  depreciate  the 
value  of  the  thing  dreamed.  An  interesting  problem  allied  to 
this,  namely,  the  meaning  of  the  fact  that  sometimes  a  cer- 
tain content  is  designated  in  the  dream  itself  as  "  dreamed  " 
— the  riddle  of  the  "  dream  within  the  dream  " — has  been 
solved  in  a  similar  sense  by  W.  Stekel 1W  through  the  analysis 
of  some  convincing  examples.  The  part  of  the  dream 
"  dreamed  "  is  again  to  be  depreciated  in  value  and  robbed 
of  its  reality  ;  that  which  the  dreamer  continues  to  dream 
after  awakening  from  the  dream  within  the  dream,  is  what 
the  dream-wish  desires  to  put  in  place  of  the  extinguished 
reality.  It  may  therefore  be  assumed  that  the  part 
"  dreamed "  contains  the  representation  of  the  reality  and 
the  real  reminiscence,  while,  on  the  other  hand,  the  continued 
dream  contains  the  representation  of  what  the  dreamer 
wished.  The  inclusion  of  a  certain  content  in  a  "  dream 
within  the  dream  "  is  therefore  equivalent  to  the  wish  that 
what  has  just  been  designated  as  a  dream  should  not  have 
occurred.  The  dream-work  utilises  the  dream  itself  as  a  form 
of  deflection. 

(d)  Regard  for  Presentability 

So  far  we  have  been  attempting  to  ascertain  how  the  dream 
represents  the  relations  among  the  dream-thoughts,  but  we 
have  several  times  extended  our  consideration  to  the  further 
question  of  what  alterations  the  dream  material  undergoes 
for  the  purposes  of  dream  formation.  We  now  know  that 
the  dream  material,  after  being  stripped  of  the  greater  parts 


of  its  relations,  is  subjected  to  compression,  while  at  the  same 
time  displacements  of  intensity  among  its  elements  force  a 
psychic  revaluation  of  this  material.  The  displacements 
which  we  have  considered  were  shown  to  be  substitutions  of 
one  idea  for  another,  the  substitute  being  in  some  way  con- 
nected with  the  original  by  associations,  and  the  displacements 
were  put  to  the  service  of  condensation  by  virtue  of  the  fact 
that  in  this  manner  a  common  mean  between  two  elements 
took  the  place  of  these  two  elements  in  the  formation  of  the 
dream.  We  have  not  yet  mentioned  any  other  kind  of  dis- 
placement. But  we  learn  from  the  analyses  that  another 
exists,  and  that  it  manifests  itself  in  a  change  of  the  verbal 
expression  employed  for  the  thought  in  question.  In  both 
cases  we  have  displacement  following  a  chain  of  associations, 
but  the  same  process  takes  place  in  different  psychic  spheres, 
and  the  result  of  this  displacement  in  the  one  case  is  that  one 
element  is  substituted  for  another,  while  in  the  other  case 
an  element  exchanges  its  verbal  expression  for  another. 

This  second  kind  of  displacement  occurring  in  dream 
formation  not  only  possesses  great  theoretical  interest,  but  is 
also  peculiarly  well  fitted  to  explain  the  semblance  of  phan- 
tastic  absurdity  in  which  the  dream  disguises  itself.  Dis- 
placement usually  occurs  in  such  a  way  that  a  colourless 
and  abstract  expression  in  the  dream-thought  is  exchanged 
for  one  that  is  visual  and  concrete.  The  advantage,  and 
consequently  the  purpose,  of  this  substitution  is  obvious. 
Whatever  is  visual  is  capable  of  representation  in  the  dream, 
and  can  be  wrought  into  situations  where  the  abstract  ex- 
pression would  confront  dream  representation  with  diffi- 
culties similar  to  those  which  would  arise  if  a  political  editorial 
were  to  be  represented  in  an  illustrated  journal.  But  not 
only  the  possibility  of  representation,  but  also  the  interests 
of  condensation  and  of  the  censor,  can  be  furthered  by  this 
change.  If  the  abstractly  expressed  and  unwieldy  dream- 
thought  is  recast  into  figurative  language,  this  new  expression 
and  the  rest  of  the  dream  material  are  more  easily  furnished 
with  those  identities  and  cross  references,  which  are  essential 
to  the  dream  activity  and  which  it  creates  whenever  they  are 
not  at  hand,  for  the  reason  that  in  every  language  concrete 
terms,  owing  to  their  evolution,  are  more  abundant  in  associa- 


tions  than  conceptual  ones.  It  may  be  imagined  that  in  dream 
formation  a  good  part  of  the  intermediary  activity,  which  tries 
to  reduce  the  separate  dream-thoughts  to  the  tersest  and 
simplest  possible  expression  in  the  dream,  takes  place  in  the 
manner  above  described — that  is  to  say,  in  providing  suitable 
paraphrase  for  the  individual  thoughts.  One  thought  whose 
expression  has  already  been  determined  on  other  grounds 
will  thus  exert  a  separating  and  selective  influence  upon  the 
means  available  for  expressing  the  other,  and  perhaps  it  will 
do  this  constantly  throughout,  somewhat  after  the  manner  of 
the  poet.  If  a  poem  in  rhyme  is  to  be  composed,  the  second 
rhyming  line  is  bound  by  two  conditions  ;  it  must  express 
the  proper  meaning,  and  it  must  express  it  in  such  a  way  as 
to  secure  the  rhyme.  The  best  poems  are  probably  those 
in  which  the  poet's  effort  to  find  a  rhyme  is  unconscious,  and 
in  which  both  thoughts  have  from  the  beginning  exercised  a 
mutual  influence  in  the  selection  of  their  verbal  expressions, 
which  can  then  be  made  to  rhyme  by  a  means  of  slight 

In  some  cases  change  of  expression  serves  the  purposes 
of  dream  condensation  more  directly,  in  making  possible  the 
invention  of  a  verbal  construction  which  is  ambiguous  and 
therefore  suited  to  the  expression  of  more  than  one  dream- 
thought.  The  whole  range  of  word-play  is  thus  put  at  the 
service  of  the  dream  activity.  The  part  played  by  words 
in  the  formation  of  dreams  ought  not  to  surprise  us.  A 
word  being  a  point  of  junction  for  a  number  of  conceptions, 
it  possesses,  so  to  speak,  a  predestined  ambiguity,  and  neuroses 
(obsessions,  phobias)  take  advantage  of  the  conveniences 
which  words  offer  for  the  purposes  of  condensation  and  dis- 
guise quite  as  readily  as  the  dream.*  That  dream  conception 
also  profits  by  this  displacement  of  expression  is  easily  de- 
monstrated. It  is  naturally  confusing  if  an  ambiguous  word 
is  put  in  the  place  of  two  ambiguous  ones  ;  and  the  employ- 
ment of  a  figurative  expression  instead  of  the  sober  everyday 
one  thwarts  our  understanding,  especially  since  the  dream  never 
tells  us  whether  the  elements  which  it  shows  are  to  be  inter- 
preted literally   or  figuratively,  or  whether  they  refer  to  the 

*  Cf.  Der  Witz  und  seine  Beziehung  zum  Unbeioussten,  2nd  edit.  1912,  and 
"  word-bridges,"  in  the  solutions  of  neurotic  symptoms. 


dream  material  directly  or  only  through  the  agency  of  inter- 
polated forms  of  speech.*  Several  examples  of  representations 
in  the  dream  which  are  held  together  only  by  ambiguity  have 
already  been  cited  ("  her  mouth  opens  without  difficulty," 
in  the  dream  of  Irma's  injection  :  "I  cannot  go  yet,"  in  the 
last  dream  reported,  p.  312),  &c.  I  shall  now  cite  a  dream 
in  the  analysis  of  which  the  figurative  expression  of  abstract 
thought  plays  a  greater  part.  The  difference  between  such 
dream  interpretation  and  interpretation  by  symbolism  may 
again  be  sharply  distinguished  ;  in  the  symbolic  interpreta- 
tion of  dreams  the  key  to  the  symbolism  is  arbitrarily  chosen 
by  the  interpreter,  while  in  our  own  cases  of  verbal  disguise  all 
these  keys  are  universally  known  and  are  taken  from  estab- 
lished customs  of  speech.  If  the  correct  notion  occurs  at  the 
right  opportunity,  it  is  possible  to  solve  dreams  of  this  sort 
completely  or  in  part,  independently  of  any  statements  made 
by  the  dreamer. 

A  lady,  a  friend  of  mine,  dreams  :  She  is  in  the  opera- 
house.  It  is  a  Wagnerian  performance  which  has  lasted  till 
7.45  in  the  morning.  In  the  parquette  and  parterre  there  are 
tables,  around  which  people  dine  and  drink.  Her  cousin  and  his 
young  wife,  who  have  just  returned  from  their  honeymoon,  sit 
next  to  her  at  one  of  these  tables,  and  next  to  them  sits  one  of  the 
aristocracy.  Concerning  the  latter  the  idea  is  that  the  young  wife 
has  brought  him  back  with  her  from  the  wedding  journey.  It 
is  quite  above  board,  just  as  if  she  were  bringing  back  a  hat  from 
her  trip.  In  the  midst  of  the  parquette  there  is  a  high  tower,  on 
the  top  of  which  is  a  platform  surrounded  by  an  iron  grating. 
There,  high  up,  stands  the  conductor  with  the  features  of  Hans 
Richter  ;  he  is  continually  running  around  behind  the  grating, 
perspiring  awfully,  and  from  this  position  conducting  the  orchestra, 

*  In  general  it  is  doubtful  in  the  interpretation  of  every  element  of  the 
dream  whether  it — 

(a)  is  to  be  regarded  as  having  a  negative  or  a  positive  sense  (relation  of 

opposition) ; 

(b)  is  to  be  interpreted  historically  (as  a  reminiscence)  ; 

(c)  is  symbolic  ;  or  whether 

(d)  its  valuation  is  to  be  based  upon  the  sound  of  its  verbal  expression. 

In  spite  of  this  manifold  signification,  it  may  be  said  that  the  representation 
of  the  dream  activity  does  not  impose  upon  the  translator  any  greater 
difficulties  than  the  ancient  writers  of  hieroglyphics  imposed  upon  their 


which  is  arranged  around  the  base  of  the  tower.  She  herself  sits 
in  a  box  with  a  lady  friend  (known  to  me).  Her  youngest  sister 
tries  to  hand  her  from  the  parquette  a  big  piece  of  coal  with  the 
idea  that  she  did  not  know  that  it  would  last  so  long  and  that  she 
must  by  this  time  be  terribly  cold.  (It  was  a  little  as  if  the  boxes 
had  to  be  heated  during  the  long  performance.) 

The  dream  is  senseless  enough,  though  the  situation  is  well 
developed  too — the  tower  in  the  midst  of  the  parquette  from 
which  the  conductor  leads  the  orchestra ;  but,  above  all, 
the  coal  which  her  sister  hands  her  !  I  purposely  asked  for 
no  analysis  of  this  dream.  With  the  knowledge  I  have  of  the 
personal  relations  of  the  dreamer,  I  was  able  to  interpret  parts 
of  it  independently.  I  knew  that  she  had  entertained  warm 
feelings  for  a  musician  whose  career  had  been  prematurely 
blasted  by  insanity.  I  therefore  decided  to  take  the  tower 
in  the  parquette  verbally.  It  was  apparent,  then,  that  the 
man  whom  she  wished  to  see  in  the  place  of  Hans  Richter 
towered  above  all  the  other  members  of  the  orchestra.  This 
tower  must,  therefore,  be  designated  as  a  composite  picture 
formed  by  an  apposition  ;  with  its  pedestal  it  represents  the 
greatness  of  the  man,  but  with  its  gratings  on  top,  behind  which 
he  runs  around  like  a  prisoner  or  an  animal  in  a  cage  (an 
allusion  to  the  name  of  the  unfortunate  man),  it  represents 
his  later  fate.  "  Lunatic-tower "  is  perhaps  the  word  in 
which  both  thoughts  might  have  met. 

Now  that  we  have  discovered  the  dream's  method  of  re- 
presentation, we  may  try  with  the  same  key  to  open  the  second 
apparent  absurdity, — that  of  the  coal  which  her  sister  hands 
her.     "  Coal  "  must  mean  "  secret  love." 

"No  coal,  no  fire  so  hotly  glows 
As  the  secret  love  which  no  one  knows/' 

She  and  her  friend  remain  seated  while  her  younger  sister, 
who  still  has  opportunities  to  marry,  hands  her  up  the  coal 
"  because  she  did  not  know  it  would  last  so  long."  What 
would  last  so  long  is  not  told  in  the  dream.  In  relating  it  we 
would  supply  "  the  performance "  ;  but  in  the  dream  we 
must  take  the  sentence  as  it  is,  declare  it  ambiguous,  and  add 
"  until  she  marries."  The  interpretation  "  secret  love  "  is 
then  confirmed  by  the  mention  of  the  cousin  who  sits  with 


his  wife  in  the  parquette,  and  by  the  open  love-affair  attri- 
buted to  the  latter.  The  contrasts  between  secret  and  open 
love,  between  her  fire  and  the  coldness  of  the  young  wife, 
dominate  the  dream.  Moreover,  here  again  there  is  a  person 
"  in  high  position  "  as  a  middle  term  between  the  aristocrat 
and  the  musician  entitled  to  high  hopes. 

By  means  of  the  above  discussion  we  have  at  last  brought 
to  light  a  third  factor,  whose  part  in  the  transformation  of 
the  dream  thoughts  into  the  dream  content  is  not  to  be  con- 
sidered trivial ;  it  is  the  regard  for  presentability  (German : 
Darstellbarkeit)  in  the  'peculiar  psychic  material  which  the  dream 
makes  use  of, — that  is  fitness  for  representation,  for  the  most 
part  by  means  of  visual  images.  Among  the  various  subor- 
dinate ideas  associated  with  the  essential  dream  thoughts, 
that  one  will  be  preferred  which  permits  of  a  visual  repre- 
sentation, and  the  dream-activity  does  not  hesitate  promptly 
to  recast  the  inflexible  thought  into  another  verbal  form, 
even  if  it  is  the  more  unusual  one,  as  long  as  this  form  makes 
dramatisation  possible,  and  thus  puts  an  end  to  the  psycho- 
logical distress  caused  by  cramped  thinking.  This  pouring 
of  the  thought  content  into  another  mould  may  at  the  same 
time  be  put  at  the  service  of  the  condensation  work,  and  may 
establish  relations  with  another  thought  which  would  other- 
wise not  be  present.  This  other  thought  itself  may  perhaps 
have  previously  changed  its  original  expression  for  the  purpose 
of  meeting  these  relations  half-way. 

In  view  of  the  part  played  by  puns,  quotations,  songs, 
and  proverbs  in  the  intellectual  life  of  educated  persons,  it 
would  be  entirely  in  accordance  with  our  expectation  to  find 
disguises  of  this  sort  used  with  extraordinary  frequency. 
For  a  few  kinds  of  material  a  universally  applicable  dream 
symbolism  has  been  established  on  a  basis  of  generally  known 
allusions  and  equivalents.  A  good  part  of  this  symbolism, 
moreover,  is  possessed  by  the  dream  in  common  with  the 
psychoneuroses,  and  with  legends  and  popular  customs. 

Indeed,  if  we  look  more  closely,  we  must  recognise  that 
in  employing  this  method  of  substitution  the  dream  is  gene- 
rally doing  nothing  original.  For  the  attainment  of  its  purpose, 
which  in  this  case  is  the  possibility  of  dramatisation  without 
interference  from    the    censor,    it    simply    follows    the  paths 


which  it  finds  already  marked  out  in  unconscious  thought, 
and  gives  preference  to  those  transformations  of  the  suppressed 
material  which  may  become  conscious  also  in  the  form  of  wit 
and  allusion,  and  with  which  all  the  fancies  of  neurotics  are 
filled.  Here  all  at  once  we  come  to  understand  Schemer's 
method  of  dream  interpretation,  the  essential  truth  of  which 
I  have  defended  elsewhere.  The  occupation  of  one's  fancy 
with  one's  own  body  is  by  no  means  peculiar  to,  or  character- 
istic of  the  dream  alone.  My  analyses  have  shown  me  that  this 
is  a  regular  occurrence  in  the  unconscious  thought  of  neurotics, 
and  goes  back  to  sexual  curiosity,  the  object  of  which  for 
the  adolescent  youth  or  maiden  is  found  in  the  genitals  of  the 
opposite  sex,  or  even  of  the  same  sex.  But,  as  Schemer  and 
Volkelt  very  appropriately  declare,  the  house  is  not  the  only 
group  of  ideas  which  is  used  for  the  symbolisation  of  the 
body — either  in  the  dream  or  in  the  unconscious  fancies  of 
the  neurosis.  I  know  some  patients,  to  be  sure,  who  have 
steadily  adhered  to  an  architectural  symbolism  for  the  body 
and  the  genitals  (sexual  interest  certainly  extends  far  beyond 
the  region  of  the  external  genital  organs),  to  whom  posts  and 
pillars  signify  legs  (as  in  the  "  Song  of  Songs  "),  to  whom 
every  gate  suggests  a  bodily  opening  ("  hole "),  and  every 
water-main  a  urinary  apparatus,  and  the  like.  But  the  group 
of  associations  belonging  to  plant  life  and  to  the  kitchen  is  just 
as  eagerly  chosen  to  conceal  sexual  images  ;  in  the  first  case 
the  usage  of  speech,  the  result  of  phantastic  comparisons 
dating  from  the  most  ancient  times,  has  made  abundant  pre- 
paration (the  "  vineyard "  of  the  Lord,  the  "  seeds,"  the 
"  garden  "  of  the  girl  in  the  "  Song  of  Songs  ").  The  ugliest 
as  well  as  the  most  intimate  details  of  sexual  life  may  be 
dreamed  about  in  apparently  harmless  allusions  to  culinary 
operations,  and  the  symptoms  of  hysteria  become  practically 
unintelligible  if  we  forget  that  sexual  symbolism  can  conceal 
itself  behind  the  most  commonplace  and  most  inconspicuous 
matters,  as  its  best  hiding-place.  The  fact  that  some  neurotic 
children  cannot  look  at  blood  and  raw  meat,  that  they  vomit 
at  the  sight  of  eggs  and  noodles,  and  that  the  dread  of  snakes, 
which  is  natural  to  mankind,  is  monstrously  exaggerated 
in  neurotics,  all  of  this  has  a  definite  sexual  meaning.  Wher- 
ever the  neurosis  employs  a  disguise  of  this  sort,  it  treads  the 


paths  once  trodden  by  the  whole  of  humanity  in  the  early 
ages  of  civilisation  —  paths  of  whose  existence  customs  of 
speech,  superstitions,  and  morals  still  give  testimony  to 
this  day. 

I  here  insert  the  promised  flower  dream  of  a  lady  patient, 
in  which  I  have  italicised  everything  which  is  to  be  sexually 
interpreted.  This  beautiful  dream  seemed  to  lose  its  entire 
charm  for  the  dreamer  after  it  had  been  interpreted. 

(a)  Preliminary  dream  :  She  goes  to  the  two  maids  in  the 
kitchen  and  scolds  them  for  taking  so  long  to  prepare  "  a  little 
bite  of  food."  She  also  sees  a  great  many  coarse  dishes  stand- 
ing in  the  kitchen  inverted  so  that  the  water  may  drip  off  them, 
and  heaped  up  in  a  pile.  Later  addition  :  The  two  maids  go 
to  fetch  water,  and  must,  as  it  were,  step  into  a  river  which  reaches 
up  into  the  house  or  into  the  yard* 

(b)  Main  dream  f  :  She  is  descending  from  a  high  place  J 
over  balustrades  that  are  curiously  fashioned  or  fences  which  are 
united  into  big  squares  and  consist  of  a  conglomeration  of  little 
squares.  §  It  is  really  not  intended  for  climbing  upon ;  she  is 
worried  about  finding  a  place  for  her  foot,  and  she  is  glad  her 
dress  doesn't  get  caught  anywhere,  and  that  she  remains  so  re- 
spectable while  she  is  going. \\  She  is  also  carrying  a  large  bough 
in  her  hand,^  really  a  bough  of  a  tree,  which  is  thickly  studded 
with  red  blossoms ;  it  has  many  branches,  and  spreads  out.** 
With  this  is  connected  the  idea  of  cherry  blossoms,  but  they  look 
like  full-bloom  camelias,  which  of  course  do  not  grow  on  trees. 
While  she  is  descending,  she  first  has  one,  then  suddenly  two, 
and  later  again  only  one.ff     When  she  arrives  at  the  bottom  of 

*  For  the  interpretation  of  this  preliminary  dream,  which  is  to  be  re- 
garded as  "  casual,"  see  p.  292. 

t  Her  career. 

X  High  birth,  the  wish  contrast  to  the  preliminary  dream. 

§  A  composite  image,  which  unites  two  localities,  the  so-called  garret 
(German  Boden — floor,  garret)  of  her  father's  house,  in  which  she  played 
with  her  brother,  the  object  of  her  later  fancies,  and  the  garden  of  a  malicious 
uncle,  who  used  to  tease  her. 

||  Wish  contrast  to  an  actual  memory  of  her  uncle's  garden,  to  the  effect 
that  she  used  to  expose  h